Ages Ahead of Most of Us

Carmichael, CA  |  By Patrick Larenas
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Shriners Hospital Development Director Alan Anderson (center) receives a $2500 donation from the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce. The gift represents 10 percent of proceeds from the Chamber’s recent Person of the Year fundraiser. Presenters are Mayor Kelli Foley (left), Directors Amanda Lambert and Virginia Stone and Chamber President Jim Alves. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

Shriners Hospitals for Children Restoring Our Faith in Humanity

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Sacramento was fortunate when Shriners Hospital for Children opened its doors here in 1997. It’s something many of us take for granted, but not the children whose lives begin with tragic physical deformations or are severely burned. To honor this work the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce recently awarded Shriners Hospital for Children with the Nonprofit of the Year Award.
David Pirie of the Northern California Board of Governors for Shriners attended the ceremony and received the award on behalf of the Organization. He thanked business leaders, chamber members and others present for the recognition.

Subsequently, on April 23, the Carmichael Chamber also presented the philanthropic organization a donation for $2500 to the Director of Development for Shriners Hospital for Children, Alan Anderson.
Because of the economic recession and rising health care costs, Shriners had been struggling with its traditional model of volunteer and member based funding.

But Anderson said, “We have not lost that single purpose of giving these kids something closer to a normal life, especially when their parents are implicitly told by other institutions that their child won’t amount to much.”

Shriners can do this because they have been leading this independent effort of healing children for well over a century. This enabled them to develop an endowment fund, a specialized infrastructure of hospitals, and research facilities across the country.

Anderson explained some of the history, “Shriners was an early investor in 20th century research and the organization's experiences in the field of developing cures allows it to devote more of that experience, money and resources per child.” Other more profit-oriented institutions do not devote funds at "the astonishing efficiency rate that we do."

Margaret Kugler M.D., Coordinator of Educational and Vocational Services, tells us what also makes Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California so different, “the Hospital has an integrated school system so the child can continue learning and participating in many of the activities that other children enjoy.”

Shriners Hospital for Children cares and trains kids with long term conditions; their organization having been designed to house those up to 18 years of age. “The spirit of this is just not possible if we were just a conventional hospital,” Anderson added.

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