Giving where it counts

May 30, 2017

Each day over 4,900 children and their families rely on the care and support of Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals in Canada. Every dollar raised helped repair hearts, mend broken bones, treat cancer and — most importantly — give hope to families and children who walk through the doors of children’s hospitals every day.

Canadians are very fortunate to have a universal health care system; no family needs to fear that an illness or accident will leave them impoverished by medical bills.

However, despite Medicare’s breadth, not everything can be fully funded; prescriptions, extended rehabilitation programs, diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, and a variety of other health care systems needs are not funded by the government. To meet those needs, hospitals and health professionals rely on the generosity of Canadians.

Children’s Miracle Network

Nowhere are Canadians more generous than when it comes to children. To help ensure their generosity does the most good it can, there is the Children’s Miracle Network. The Network is a Canada-wide non-profit that directs donations to more than 14 Canadian children’s hospitals. Donations go to support special equipment heart and lung machines and radiation therapy devices, as well as support research into childhood diseases, ensuring children across the country can receive the best possible care.

A heart operation for a newborn

One family touched by Children’s Miracle network giving is that of Hans Gabriel Rana. Born with an extremely rare heart defect, Hans’ right ventricle was too small - as a result, his heart was unable to pump enough blood to his lungs to get the oxygen he needed to live. Fortunately, specialists at BC Children’s Hospital were on hand, with special techniques and equipment procured by Children’s Miracle Network donations. Hans’ had his first operation at just 20 hours old, and his second at eight months. Despite the success of these surgeries, a third was needed when he was five.

Now 8 years old, Hans is a healthy, happy boy - inquisitive, playful, and keen to help others. He is thriving thanks to the surgical skill of the doctors at BC Children’s Hospital, and the special equipment procured with Children’s Miracle Network donations. It is knowing that they can make a difference in the life of critically ill children like Hans that keep SMS Equipment employees participating in the donation drives year after year.

SMS Equipment is proud to have been a part of the Children’s Miracle Network campaigns for the past 5 years. Since 2011, SMS employees have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the hospitals that serve their families.

Community focus

Roy Lapa, of SMS Marketing & Communications group, knew that SMS employees were generous of their money and their time. He also knew that the Children’s Miracle Network would be a winner in a company with the community focus of SMS. The issue was how to make it as effective as possible.

“We know people want to give,” Roy says, “what we needed was a way to make giving effortless.” Roy and his team’s innovation was to make the giving a one-time decision. Each year SMS puts out a call for pledges to its donation program. Employees who sign up have deductions made from their paycheque during specific months at a pre-assigned amount, making giving automatic. The payroll deductions also enable employees to give more cumulatively than they would have been able to in one pay period.

To help make the donation program even more attractive, the company adds two extra features. First, each donation is matched dollar for dollar by SMS Equipment, doubling the good done. Second, each $20 donation earns the giver an entry in a draw for prizes. Each year the prizes vary and the company seeks out neat items that appeal to its staff, from full-leather duffel bags to multi-tool bracelets.

An additional attraction of the Children’s Miracle Network is the local nature of the giving. Employees working on remote sites far from home can know their donations are going to support the children’s hospital in their local area.