Many children anxiously await their birthday. It’s their time to shine. They plan a party or dream of the gifts they will receive. For eight-year old Thomas Caverlee, he had a different idea. Instead of receiving gifts, he asked his […]
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Bigger Than a Birthday

by Jill Taylor on December 7, 2012

in Community Involvement

Many children anxiously await their birthday. It’s their time to shine. They plan a party or dream of the gifts they will receive.

For eight-year old Thomas Caverlee, he had a different idea.

Instead of receiving gifts, he asked his friends to bring money that he could donate to a nearby hospital in Dallas, TX.

His friends brought coins and dollars, and Caverlee collected them in his mason jar.

“I thought that was very sweet of Thomas,” says Children’s Coordinator of Development Jennifer Williams. “It is not very often when you have a child that thinks of another on his birthday.”

When the time came to donate the money Caverlee’s cousin, Luke, contracted an illness while on vacation. Because Luke is from College Station, he was soon admitted to the McLane’s Children’s Hospital Scott & White.

Caverlee’s big heart felt that the money should now go to Luke. So, Thomas Caverlee did just that. He brought his donation to the McLane’s Children’s Hospital in honor of his cousin.

“I think it’s really neat to recognize the generous spirit of this young boy. It’s heartwarming to know that at all levels—families, big corporations, businesses—they all are giving,” says Lesli Cearley, McLane Children’s Director of Development. “Even the children are giving at this hospital.”

To inspire more giving, the McLane’s Children’s Scott & White plans to implement the “Peter Pan Birthday Club” based on the idea that you don’t have to be grown-up to give.

As part of this program, children can donate money to the hospital in place of birthday gifts. They will be able to take a special tour of the hospital and relate on a level that is meaningful to them.

“Thomas was willing to share a story of what he’s doing. It’s going to motivate some other kids out there to do the same thing” said Jennifer Williams, development coordinator.

“Thomas was willing to share a story of what he’s doing,” says Williams. “It’s going to motivate some other kids out there to do the same thing.”

Collectively, all donations to the McLane’s Children’s Hospital have made an enormous impact. Since the campaign began in March 2010, the community has donated approximately 40 million dollars to assist in funding high-tech equipment and various programs for children.

One program, known as the Child Life program helps children deal with the emotional side of medical treatment. Caverlee asked that his money be donated to this program specifically. Child Life assists with family counseling, activity playrooms and special events that are never billed to the patient, but largely impact a child’s healthcare. These programs depend on donations like Caverlee’s to sustain and operate.

“We appreciate every donation to the hospital,” says Cearley. “We appreciate that the community has been compelled to support what’s happening here. The hospital is an incredible resource that allows us to provide the highest level of healthcare in our community.”

For more information about the Peter Pan Birthday Club or other ways to give, contact the Children’s Team at the Scott & White Foundation at 254-724-4218.

 

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