Stories of Inspired Giving
Seven-Year-Old Uses Money He Earned as Movie Extra to Bring Toys, Books – and Smiles -- to Rachel’s Courtyard
For seven-year-old Lawrence, landing a role as an extra in the upcoming Lone Ranger movie was the “big break”he was waiting for – but not for the reason you’d expect. Of course, like any young boy, he was thrilled to be part of this upcoming action-adventure movie which is sure to be a major blockbuster. However, when he learned he had the role and knew he would be getting a paycheck, he was equally as excited to be provided with another opportunity that he had been hoping for: the chance to use his own money to help other children … and to buy new toys to brighten the days of hospitalized children.
“Each day as we drove on the highway and he could see Rachel’s Courtyard from a distance, he would ask me questions not only about the hospital itself, but about the children inside,” said Christina Lancellotti, Lawrence’s mom. “He was concerned that they couldn’t go home at night, worried that they might not have things to do – and was looking for a way to do something special for the children.”
His chance came on Friday, June 8th – when Lawrence, his mother and 11-year-old sister Amorette walked into Rachel’s Courtyard bearing hundreds of dollars of toys, puzzles, art supplies and books … all purchased through Lawrence’s own earnings on the Lone Ranger movie set. “I felt really happy and was glad that they liked what I brought,” said Lawrence, who was particularly pleased that the art supplies he brought were already being put to good use by a patient – a talented artist – during his visit.
Christina says that she is so happy to have helped Lawrence not only find a way to “give back” to others, but to possibly encourage other children to follow Lawrence’s lead. “It all started with an inquisitive seven-year-old noticing a structure from a highway … and I’m so glad that this turned into such a positive experience for him and, most importantly, the patients at The Children’s Center.”
Gratitude takes so many surprising and marvelous forms. For the family of Sara Ashe, it became an annual hot rod and muscle car show to raise money for Presbyterian Home Healthcare and Hospice. The story behind the scenes is illuminating.
When Sara lost her battle with congestive heart failure in 1998, Hospice was by her side. In gratitude for the loving care she received, her sons, Chris, Paul, Ernie and Rick and their families committed to raising money to help Presbyterian Hospice patients and families.
Chris and Paul, owners of the Sunset Grille & Bar, hosted the first Sunset Grille & Bar Car Show to benefit the Hospice Program in 1998. With fifteen shows under their belt and the support of their incredible family members, volunteers and sponsors, this grass roots success story has grown from 30 cars and a donation of $510 to over 115 cars and motorcycles and a donation of over $10,000 in 2012.
Since 1998, the Sunset Grille & Bar Car Show has raised over $138,000 to help financially limited Hospice patients and their families and to support the construction of a Hospice Healing Garden at Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital.
Gratitude makes a full circle with a 'thank you' from Presbyterian Hospice.
Revathi A-Davidson Establishes Endowment to Support the Presbyterian Employee CareFund
“When I think about Presbyterian, I feel such pride,” Revathi A-Davidson, said. A-Davidson has been an employee of Presbyterian Healthcare Services for 33 years and just recently retired at the end of January.
“Presbyterian has given me many opportunities and I wanted to give back,” she said. Under the guidance of then Foundation Development Director Vicki Macaulay, she created an endowment in 2012 to support the Presbyterian Employee CareFund.
“I would like the CareFund to continue,” she said. “I want future employees, even ones I don’t know, to have security in an emergency,” Revathi added. The Employee CareFund provides for the emergency needs of employees who find themselves facing an unexpected or catastrophic financial hardship. In the past employees who have suffered losses from such environmental disasters as hurricanes, floods and fires have received assistance for relocation, rent, utilities and the like. “Last year the CareFund allocated more than $128,039.00 to Presbyterian employees,” Diane Lopez, Director of Foundation Employee Annual Giving, said.
“At Presbyterian, it’s all about the people and relationships and it’s what keeps me grounded,” A-Davidson added. In fact, Presbyterian employees in addition to dollars often donate unused Paid-Time-Off to this fund.
Revathi is no stranger to philanthropy. Her husband established two endowments at UNM’s Zimmerman Library in the area of Latin American studies and programs. From India herself, A-Davidson says, “To me one of the most outstanding things about the United States is the spirit of volunteering and philanthropy. People are motivated to give of their time, energy, skills and money once they’ve taken care of themselves.”
Spirit Halloween has raised over $114,000 for The Children's Center at Presbyterian--and Boosts the Spirits of Hospitalized Children
For the fifth consecutive year, local Halloween retailer, Spirit Halloween has demonstrated the true spirit of giving--raising funds through their Halloween sales to donate
directly to The Children's Center at Presbyterian. This year, though, Rob and Noreen Scott and their son Chris were thrilled when their fundraising efforts took a "quantum leap"...raising more than $42,000 through a full-out effort to capture the true spirit of the season.
The Scotts--who own a total of 15 stores in four states, including three stores in Albuquerque-have raised and donated a total of more than $114,000 for The Children's Center at Presbyterian since becoming involved in this unique fundraising initiative back in 2008. The program is part of Spirit Halloween's national "Spirit of Children" program-created to "bring fun and funding to children at Halloween and all year long" and which helps to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during Halloween for children who might otherwise miss out on the joy of the holiday.
In addition to raising money, the Scotts and Spirit Halloween also sponsor and host a Halloween party for hospitalized children at Rachel's Courtyard each year. The party enables children and their families to experience the joy of Halloween together despite being hospitalized--with Spirit Halloween providing everything from costumes, to decorations and candy bags...to a room full of volunteers from their stores eager to bring Halloween, and smiles, to the faces of children spending the holiday in the hospital.
"Seeing the joy in the faces of children is what the Spirit of Children program is all about," says Rob Scott. "We couldn't be more thrilled to be bringing both funds, and fun, to the Presbyterian Children's Center, and are so happy to be giving back to the community and showing the true spirit of giving in this special way."