A generous spirit on full display
Today, I’d like to talk about gifts. Who doesn’t like gifts? We all remember favorite birthday or Christmas presents, or a less tangible but sometimes more thoughtful gift of someone’s time or talents. And then, there’s the perennial joke about those sometimes good, sometimes not-so-good gifts that “keep on giving.”
At the Medical Center, though, we appreciate our many gifts that keep on giving, making possible much of the exemplary care we provide to Mississippians and all those who come to us for healing. These gifts allow us to provide the best education for health sciences students, and they greatly help in the construction of new facilities. They fuel our research efforts to come up with better and more proactive ways to improve the health of those we serve.
In Fiscal Year 2019, the Medical Center received $24.6 million in charitable gifts. That figure alone is incredible, but when you look deeper into those numbers, you find a beautiful tapestry of generosity.
A total of $11,036,535 was given to the Growing Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, a monumental effort to fund construction of a new 355,000-square-foot pediatric tower, bringing the campaign total to nearly $75 million.
Some of the efforts in FY19 that went to support our pediatric programs and growth included:
- More than $500,000 was raised through hundreds of gifts that poured in from across our state during the month of April to successfully complete a matching challenge from an anonymous donor for Giving TWOsday.
- DJs from a dozen radio stations came together Feb. 28-March 1 to help tell the stories of Children’s of Mississippi patients and families live on air during the Mississippi Miracles Radiothon, resulting in more than $500,000 in donations for the third year in a row.
- Dance marathons were hosted by students at USM, Mississippi College and Ole Miss to benefit the Growing Campaign. At Rebelthon, students danced their way to a whopping $300,000 donation.
- Donations of more than 800 toys and gifts were delivered to boys and girls in the hospital during the holiday season.
The generosity of Mississippians towards the Medical Center touches every area of UMMC.
Almost $1 million was raised in the first year of a $5 million campaign to fund the MIND Center-Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Once under way, the study will be one of the largest of its kind and has the potential to improve diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
More than $500,000 went to the Manning Family Fund for a Healthier Mississippi to support initiatives across all three of the Medical Center’s mission areas, with an overarching goal of improving health outcomes for all Mississippians.
Some people chose to use their talents to show their support for our patients. Beautiful handmade quilts were donated for transplant patients. Crocheted caps were made especially for patients visiting the Patient Resource Center at the Cancer Center and Research Institute.
Nearly $7 million of total support came in through the thoughtful generosity of a number of businesses, churches and community organizations.
UMMC’s many alumni spread across the world stepped up to the tune of nearly $1 million.
A special thanks to those employees who embraced our culture of philanthropy in FY19 by reaching into their own wallets (or the handy automatic withdrawal machines on payday) to generously give $290,000. Your generosity and the work of the development team in the Office of Institutional Advancement is so valued.
Large or small; one-time or recurring; memorial gifts and those given in honor of loved ones; major foundation gifts or proceeds from a child’s lemonade stand . . . they all are important and appreciated.
It’s no surprise that for some years, Mississippi has been among the top states for charitable giving. Mississippians come together as a community in support of one another, including the giving of gifts to the Medical Center to continue its good work. I’m thankful for all of those who give their time, talents and money to further our quest for A Healthier Mississippi.