It’s up to you! Help a U-M program of your choice on Giving Blueday

November 29, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Michigan Medicine News,

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In 2015, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the U-M community of faculty, alumni, students, patients, staff and friends poured their hearts into Giving Blueday to raise more than $4.3 million in 24 hours.

Today is your chance to help U-M surpass those numbers, as the annual U-M event is held in conjunction with Giving Tuesday — a worldwide initiative celebrating giving back to the community.

“Giving Blueday is a terrific way for donors to make gifts of any size to support areas of the university they feel passionate about, whether it’s the school they graduated from or an area they enjoy,” said Jerry May, vice president for development.

That includes the U-M Health System, whose programs are often a major benefactor during Giving Blueday. Initiatives such as the Bedside Art program — which brings free art kits to patients, families and visitors — stand to benefit from generous donations this year.

But it’s ultimately up to you where you would want to send your donations.

Last year, Anne McNeil, a mother and associate professor of chemistry in LSA, decided to support our Little Victors. With an active lifestyle involving activities with her own children, Anne focused on finding a cause at U-M that would significantly impact children’s health.

Upon discovering that the Child and Family Life team at Mott was hoping to launch a new volunteer program that would help sick kids “get their magic back,” Anne knew she had found the right program to support. So on Giving Blueday, Anne donated in support of the Open Heart Magic program, a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps hospitalized children find empowerment through magic.

With her funding, and support from others, the program had the necessary resources to get off the ground at UMHS. Now, a team of magicians entertains patients weekly at Mott with card tricks, endless silk scarves and the chance to wave a magic wand, offering a welcome diversion from treatment and sometimes lengthy hospital stays.

“I can appreciate how important it is to keep children’s spirits up when they are not feeling well,” said Anne. “The Open Heart magicians are a wonderful addition to the already great things that Mott does to help make these challenging times a little better.”

So far, about 450 patients at Mott have been entertained by the visiting magicians. “Giving a child the gift of laughter, joy and one-on-one attention is priceless,” Anne said.

Like Anne, you can make a difference in a patient’s or family’s experience by supporting a UMHS program of your choice. Any size gift is appreciated, as most previous donors gave gifts of $100 or less.

Whether you’re supporting care for a relative who has cancer, your grandmother with Alzheimer’s or the future physicians of tomorrow, you can truly make a difference at UMHS!

To help, go to Leaders and Best or giveblue.org and help move health care forward.

Follow Giving Blueday all day on Facebook and Twitter to see our community’s progress!

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