In mid-January, my wife and I drove to the greater Detroit area to visit my father. In perfect traveling conditions it’s around a five-hour trip with not a lot of interesting scenery to take in.
After checking the weather report for our planned return travel day we made the decision to leave the afternoon before to avoid potentially being stranded in sub-zero temperatures. We thought we were being safe and prudent.
The drive was going smoothly until 90 minutes remaining in the trip we were diverted off the expressway. Two hours — and a mere 15 miles later — we were back on the expressway. Unfortunately, a 40-plus-car pileup near Paw Paw, Mich., was the reason for the delay. We saw multiple firetrucks and a few ambulances in a staging area at a McDonald’s just off the highway.
These circumstances gave me some unexpectedly extra time to think – and ponder people in need of charity. Seeing this accident, I thought about the potential need for blood donations, medical bill coverage and more. Then as I slowly moved through blowing snow on southeast Michigan side roads, my mind moved to this month’s cover story on the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. For the full story on this wonderful facility please check out page 28.
Since it was founded in 1986, Believe in Tomorrow has provided more than 600,000 individual overnight stays for children battling cancer at the world-renowned hospital and their families that have come from every state in the United States and 76 countries around the world.
Sean Morrison, the director of hospital housing operations, and his team spring into action when any element of the 15-bedroom facility breaks down. Instead of scouring the Internet for the cheapest and easiest replacement, the Believe in Tomorrow staff reaches out and finds the good graces of designers, contractors, manufacturers and their reps to get the critical facility back on track.
“What we call an ‘in kind’ donation, something such as a product or service, is sometimes more important than a financial donation,” he says.
I was fortunate to spend some time at the Believe in Tomorrow House a few days before Thanksgiving. It was so encouraging to see all the amenities the organization is able to provide to these kids in need. A game room is equipped with a nice TV with a couple video game consoles and a plethora of family movies to take in at the end of a tough day. Families also can enjoy ping-pong and billiards tables for some fun competition.
A donation to Believe in Tomorrow would be an amazing gesture for your company to do and if you would like information on how to do so, please visit http://believeintomorrow.org. Of course many of us work in metropolitan areas and I’m confident in saying there are many other worthy organizations in your community to assist.
I know financially this industry has its ups and downs, but one constant we all should strive for is helping those who are in the most need. Look inside yourself to find what cause means the most to you. Maybe it is sick children. Or giving blood. Or helping the homeless. Or animals.
Whatever your cause, give what you can. It will be much appreciated.