When I became a member of the CATCH Board of Trustees 15 years ago, I was instantly enamored by the way funds we all raised made a significant difference in the lives of pediatric patients and their families at Children’s Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital. I was equally captivated by the way CATCH was structured as it not only addresses many of the current annual needs of children, but in building a mechanism to meet the growing needs of children long into the future.
Since 1987, more than $6.5 million has been provided to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Henry Ford Hospital to help children. During that same time we have grown our board-designated endowment fund to more than $9 million. In the past five years alone, CATCH’s annual contributions to the hospitals have grown from $320,000 in 2012 to $416,500 this past year.
This is what CATCH Founder Sparky Anderson dreamed about when the Hall of Fame baseball manager founded CATCH nearly 30 years ago.
CATCH dollars are used to provide items and services that, because there is no other immediate source of funding, would otherwise go unmet. They have become an invaluable resource for the hospitals’ physicians, nurses and social workers in caring for a patient population that is medically vulnerable and economically disadvantaged. We are often told by the health care workers on the front line that CATCH dollars “are a Godsend.”
While the contributions to the hospitals continue to increase, unfortunately, so does the patient population in need of such help.
Each year, CATCH contributions are used in a variety of meaningful ways, including:
- Helping with rent or utility payments for families who have fallen behind due to an unpaid leave of absence from work to be with a child in the hospital
- Assisting with transportation to and from the hospitals
- Emergency assistance for medications for patients whose insurance plans were interrupted or changed
- iPads and apps for children on the Autism spectrum to help them develop communication skills, and also engage in self-directed play
These are just a few of the literally hundreds of examples of how your contributions to CATCH make a difference for children and their families throughout each and every year. Despite all that we have been able to accomplish together, we know from conversations we have with our hospital partners, the need for the very things that CATCH provides for continues to grow.
I hope you will join me by contributing to our annual year-end giving program by clicking on the Donate Now link above. Whatever you can afford to give, I hope I can count on your support so we are able to help even more needy children.
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