13 Jan Company Contrast – Navigating the Non-Profits Series
2ndVote evaluates popular companies that either score well or score poorly every week. This week we take a very personal perspective.
It has been a few years – ten to be precise – since two of my children were diagnosed just three months apart with terminal illnesses. I can’t think of anything that will hit you harder than being told your child has a terminal illness and will die unless they get the right care, and that they may still die in the process. It turns your world upside down and rips apart your hopes and dreams. This is the stuff that breaks people. But then there are organizations and people – angels and heroes actually – who are there for the specific purpose of lifting you up and holding you together when you need it most. For my family, there were nurses and doctors, administrators, and even Make-A-Wish (2.90) that made the most painful of times a little more tolerable.
There was one nurse in particular – Nurse Rebecca at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina – that cried with us, laughed with us, stayed after her shifts with us, and provided the most excellent medical care any one could possibly ask for. And let me tell you, when you are sitting next to your child and the machine that is keeping them alive starts to crash and the room fills with experts to rapidly restore order, you can go from feeling entirely helpless to eternally grateful in a matter of seconds. That happened to us too many times to count. Levine is one of those places that is full of wonderful heroes and angels. From the very first time we checked Evan into the ICU and Dr. Susan sat with us to tell us that Evan needed a kidney transplant to live, we were in shock. I asked for a second opinion and she agreed. Then she informed me that she had already consulted the entire consortium of nephrologists in the region on Evan’s case, and they all agreed that he was terminally in need of a transplant. They didn’t yet have a diagnosis of what caused his stage 5 kidney failure (later determined to be nephronophthisis – if you can pronounce it), but they were working on it. She spoke so gently and kindly but without mincing words, and she was always that way with us. She and her team became a part of our family. Later that year we were in Orlando, Florida, enjoying a stay at Give Kids The World and lots of fun at Disney (1.65). Thanks to a miracle granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, our family had a much needed escape from reality ahead of Evan’s and Eli’s kidney transplants.
These are the people that save lives, bring hope, and restore a will to keep pushing. When these organizations step in, families and children are able to escape reality for a short time. Unfortunately, some of these organizations have taken a hard shift to the left and forgotten their mission. The Ronald McDonald House (2.90), founded in 1974, has shifted their policies and decided a terminally ill child and their entire family must also accept an experimental vaccine in order to stay in their housing. The story of a young father receiving an eviction notice because they were not vaccinated (unclear if they were lacking booster shots or first or second shots). “This is evil” the dad says to the manager on duty. We agree. If you are going to yank the rug out from under a family, it might have been better to refrain from offering one in the first place.
Similar to Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish foundation has recently changed their policy to only grant wishes to children whose families are vaccinated. They were founded in 1980 and have helped thousands of children, typically beginning with an application process and a visit to the family’s home. Can you fathom what it would be like to tell your dying child that this wonderful group of people that had met with you in your home to explore your child’s dreams and plan a miracle, only to then tell them that no miracles will be granted because the family isn’t vaccinated? Plans: declined. Flights: cancelled. Hopes: smashed. And the insane thing is that Make-A-Wish and Ronald McDonald House are funded largely by kind donors who gave freely of their resources to help these children and families with no concern for their political affiliation or compliance to transient policies that violate basic freedoms. And yes, the direction from governments on Covid have indeed been transient, bordering on nonsensical tyranny.
If you have supported Ronald McDonald House or Make-A-Wish in the past, we honor you. You have helped children that desperately needed your kindness. If you want to help children in the future, we recommend you consider different means. I mentioned Give Kids The World above. They still provide truly wonderful experiences for terminally ill children and their families regardless of vaccine status (masks still required). I also mentioned Levine Children’s Hospital. While Levine doesn’t offer fantasy experiences, they do grant countless wishes for families and children through some of the best healthcare you could ask for. Children’s Hospitals around the country would be a great place to start with your donated dollars.
There are also many local charities that help these children (local is very often the best solution).
Author: Bryant Haines, Director of Research & Data Management