Giving News & Highlights

Famous Dave's gives back in a big way

Three years ago, Famous Dave’s decided they wanted to give back to Children’s in a big way. So they started the Wilbur Cares Party, hosted by the Famous Dave’s Jazz Club in Calhoun Square.

Proceeds from the party have contributed to their pledge of $50,000 to fund a private patient room in the newly opened Karen and George Benz Family Pediatric Neuroscience Center. The center brings Children’s expertise together under one roof so that kids with brain injuries and other neurological illnesses can benefit from the seamless and integrated care needed to treat these complex disorders. And private patient rooms allow families to stay close during their child’s stay, and bring the comforts of home to the hospital setting.

Famous Dave’s also makes a commitment to visit Children’s throughout the year, which includes serving a special, themed lunch to patients and families twice a year, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House located in Children’s – Minneapolis, and hosting a holiday toy drive at their Twin Cities metro area locations.

Famous Dave's restaurants sell Wilbur plush with
100% of proceeds benefitting Children's.
Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House.

We are so grateful for their long-standing commitment to supporting our patients and their families. Since partnering with Children’s, Famous Dave’s has donated more than $63,000 to Children’s in cash and in-kind donations.

The 2014 Wilbur Cares Party will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25, starting at 5:00 p.m. With live music, a silent auction, BBQ, and Paul Fletcher from Cities 97 as emcee, it promises to be a fun night. We hope to see you there! Register for the event today.

A message of gratitude

The start of the New Year is the perfect time to appreciate all those who give meaning to our lives. For the kids and families at Children’s, there is no question that this includes our friends, partners and donors. Without committed and outstanding supporters, Children’s would not be Children’s. Gifts of time, talent and philanthropy have helped ensure countless kids continue to receive the absolute best in family-centered pediatric care and services.

Time and again our partners have shown us that even the smallest expressions of humanity and gratitude can help us achieve amazing things for amazing children in both St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Because of our community of support…

  • clair-and-reese
    Clair and Reese
    Mary Kay and her twin girls Clair and Reese, born 85 days early, can be cared for together in the new Special Care Nursery rooms at The Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis, facilitating the bonding process and letting parents be an important part of the care team.
  • Twin Cities teen Adrianna can receive the highest quality care from pediatric specialists in the Level I trauma center in Minneapolis after suffering a concussion at a weekend basketball tournament, as well as follow-up care to ensure there are no long-term consequences.
  • yesica
    Yesica, age 11
    Yesica, who was diagnosed with type I diabetes at age 11, has access to private patients rooms on the medical/surgical unit in St. Paul, so her mom and dad can stay close in a welcoming and comfortable space anytime her chronic condition requires maintenance.
  • Leonard, a Children’s volunteer for the past 27 years, can utilize the new CHA Storyland Garden on the rooftop in St. Paul to help children experience healing through plant therapy activities.
  • Mason can stay close to his parents and little sister who recently had surgery, while still being able to be a kid and have fun in the new sibling play area of the Teammates for Kids Child Life Zone in St. Paul.
  • Gavin
    Gavin, age 7
    Our doctors can, for the first time ever, use an MRI guided laser to help Gavin fight a brain tumor he nicknamed Joe Bully and receive the highest quality patient care in the new Karen and George Benz Family Pediatric Neuroscience Center in St. Paul.

We are proud to be part of a community that has done so much to ensure the best possible future for our children. We wish you and your family a healthy and joyful New Year.

With gratitude, 
Children's Foundation 

Infographic: Donors make a difference at Children's

Click on this interactive infographic to learn more about how your 2013 donations have impacted Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Graham's gift

Earlier this year, at 9 years old, Graham was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma. It’s inoperable, and there’s only one other child living with it. The child lives in Australia and communicates with Graham via Facebook, an account his mom created for chatting and comparing notes on their shared illness.

Graham's first experience at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota fell on the same day he got his cancer diagnosis. He was scared. But, he had a dream-team of medical experts to help him. He met Dr. Susan Sensor, who showed him her scar from her melanoma. It made him feel better and less anxious. Dr. David Dassenko made Graham’s first surgery less painful by using a "J-Tip" to start his I.V. A child life specialist gave him a blanket before he went into the OR.

graham 1

During his journey, Graham has decided to raise money and awareness by making and selling rubber band bracelets. Each bracelet costs $1 and has a yellow bead that represents Childhood Cancer Awareness. Visit Graham's GiveMN page to make a donation and receive a bracelet!

His bracelet campaign has taken off. More than 1,000 bracelets have been made. His friends and other kids throughout Minnesota have helped, so he can quickly fill orders. Bracelets have been shipped throughout the United States and to Australia! Graham's bracelet brigade was even mentioned in a news story on KARE 11!

Graham hopes no child will ever have to go through what he’s endured, and that he will raise enough awareness and funds to make a difference! You can read more about Graham's Journey on his Facebook page.

Why I Give...

Children's is kicking off our 2013 Employee Giving Campaign in less than one month! In preparation, we're going to be sharing one story every week about what our employees think is great about Children's and why they choose to give back.

Kanne Seth smallSeth Kanne

I've been working for Star Studio at Children's for 6+ years. I feel pretty darn fortunate to have the job I have and work at a place like Children's. That's why I give back through a recurring payroll deduction. It's really easy because I don't have to do anything - it just comes out automatically. I know it isn't much, but it's the least I can do for an organization that has been so good to so many families, including my own. Star Studio gets a lot of support through philanthropy, so this is my way to keep the good will circulating.

Freeman lynn smallLynn Freeman

I have many roles at Children’s including a concierge and backup program assistant in the Family Resource Center, a backup cashier and a casual employee on the Kohl's Cares and Children's Flu Prevention Project.

My favorite thing at Children's that is supported by Philanthropy is Cancer Kids Fund. My son is a five-year survivor of cancer and was treated at the Hem/Onc Clinic. His team there was amazing!

I choose to support Children’s because the mission here is one that I truly believe in. I have been a member of The Children's Association - Minneapolis since 1987 and have served as President of the Association in 2007 and held various other Board positions. My husband and I have financially supported the Star Gala, Pain and Palliative Care program and, of course, The Association. I contribute to the Association with time and money through a payroll deduction.

Other organizations we have supported is St. Jude's, Alzheimer’s Association and Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Honestly, though, 90% of our philanthropy goes to Children's.

wang barbBarbara Wang

I have been a 6th floor nurse at Children's - Minneapolis for 27 years. Because of Children's, I have had the resources to support my family, as well as prepare for my retirement. And I have an awesome group of co-workers and friends!

It's great that Children's has this campaign to make us all aware of how important it is to give back - to the hospital, to the kids, and to the community. I appreciate help given to those who are financially challenged. I had a niece, as well as many patients through the years, who received help from Charity Care, so that is one of my favorite things supported by philanthropy. In my giving, I also support Global Health Ministries, an organization that collects and sends medical supplies to less fortunate countries around the world.

Children's is such an asset to our community. May we all treasure the vision and the resources that we have in this very special place for kids!

Chawla GigiDr. Gigi Chawla

I serve many roles here at Children’s including working in our general pediatric clinic and within the hospital and serve as the medical/surgical director.

I am so proud of the work that we all do, everyday. The way we respect patients and our family-centered approach to healthcare is something we can all be proud of. That is why I choose to donate my unused PTO hours back to programs like Charity Care. Through this program, Children's is able to provide necessary items, like prescription medications, to families that don’t have insurance or can’t afford their medication. It is my hope that we can continue to improve and grow our life-changing programs.

In addition to supporting Children’s, I also support other causes that are important to me including the arts in the Twin Cities, GLTB organizations and dental services for underserved kids in their schools.

Branson NathanNathan Branson

I have worked in Children’s Biomed department for six years where I help to repair and maintain the medical equipment at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, along with all of our clinics.

I choose to support Children’s because it makes me feel good to help out kids in need. I support Children’s by donating PTO and participating in events. I’ve attended HeartBeat 5000, the 5K run/walk that benefits the cardiovascular care program for the last few years. And as a department, Biomed collects candy at Halloween to handout to the kids in the hospital and collect school supplies at the beginning of the school year.