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Young Professionals Bringing Joy to Terminally-Ill Children

September 5, 2016
For some children and families, the holiday season doesn't necessarily bring merriment and joy. And though it may be some of the children at Gilchrist Kids' last holiday, there are programs that can bring them joy, peace and happiness in their final days.

GBMC's Parents Advisory Council recognizes the unique opportunity to give back to these children, and this holiday season will be their fifth consecutive year adopting families in the Gilchrist Kids' Adopt-a-Family Holiday Drive.

The Parents Advisory Council brings together like-minded, young individuals and families who have had a direct experience with GBMC's maternal, newborn and/or pediatric services. In gratitude, members give back to GBMC programs that benefit these areas.

The Giving Circle within the Council asks each member to donate a minimum of $500, but many give more. The Council meets once a quarter to hear from physicians and leadership on areas or programs in need of support and the Council votes on where to distribute funds.

In 2015, the Council supported Pediatric Ophthalmology to help Dr. Allison Jensen correct kid's vision issues with surgery, as well as an extraordinary award to support the NICU. For the Adopt-a-Family program, the Council adopted 20 families or 50 individuals and supplied them with basic necessity items as well as wish list requests.

"As parents of young children, we know how magical and special the holiday season is for kids," Lydia Travelstead, co-chair of the PAC, said. "We want the children at Gilchrist Kids to experience the same joy own children do during the holiday."

"It was important to us that this adopting tradition continue," Ashley Hatter, co-chair of the PAC, said. "It is a great reward for us to put a smile on these kids' faces and bring them and their families joy."

Since 2010, the PAC has awarded $151,000 to worthy resources and programs within GBMC pediatrics. They are dedicated group and deeply committed to helping their community. If you are interested in learning more about the Parents Advisory Council and their work, please contact Rachel Ladenson at 443-849-3765 or rladenson@gbmc.org.
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