In my travels around Rockland and Orange and Bergen Counties, I find that many people know about Helen Hayes Hospital, and the excellent rehabilitation services it provides. Some (of a certain age) know who Helen Hayes MacArthur was (hint-First Lady of the American Theater). But very few seem to be familiar with the Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation, let alone what we do. As Director of the Foundation, I’d like to take this opportunity to familiarize you with our organization.
The Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation was established in 1981 and incorporated in 1985 as the Helen Hayes Hospital Citizen’s Advisory Council. It was founded by Jan and Niles M. Davies Jr. and their good friend and neighbor, Helen Hayes MacArthur. As they sat around the Davies dining room table, they committed themselves to find new ways to both support and enhance the services at Helen Hayes Hospital and went on to establish our nonprofit 501C (3). Through the years, the name has changed but never the mission. That remains the same and in many ways has expanded in recognition of the changing times and needs of the rehabilitation hospital.
Our mission is to address the needs of the hospital that are not met by traditional funding sources. Over the years the Foundation has purchased cutting edge technology for the hospital, funded important educational programs for the professional staff, provided seed money for research, and enhanced numerous hospital programs and services. The Smart Apartment, equipment for the Neuro Boot Camp, a ReWalk exoskeleton, Bertec Balance Master, adaptive sports equipment, and most recently an accessible car are just a few things that have been made possible through funds raised by the Foundation.
We raise money through special events, donations, grants, both snail mail and email solicitations, dedicated campaigns, and raffles. Then there is always the unsolicited donation from a grateful patient or a gift in honor or memory of someone who has been touched by the great care he or she has received here at the hospital.
This past year’s events included a Donor Reception for our Thanks for Giving campaign, our annual golf outing, and most recently the Helen Hayes Hospital Classic Race. We hold smaller events during the year, as well as a vendor sale program. And just celebrating its first anniversary, a resale shop, Helen’s Hope Chest, located on the hospital campus, also benefits the Foundation. The shop is run exclusively by volunteers and accepts donations of clothing, home goods, and bric a brac. All proceeds go directly to the support of the Foundation, and ultimately the hospital.
As we enter the holiday season and the close of 2015, we are grateful to all those who have supported us in the past and look forward to their continued support during this season of giving and beyond. We welcome new donors as well as volunteers to join us in our efforts to provide the many things that traditional funding can’t pay for, but are so necessary to provide hope and normalcy for those who have had life changing injuries and illnesses. Best wishes to all for a happy and health 2016!
Please visit us at helenhayeshospitalfoundation.com
Director, Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation