Over the past eight weeks, I’ve introduced you to some of the kids treated at Children’s National Medical Center. I’ve introduced you to their parents, to their doctors and their nurses. Now I want to introduce you to. . . you.
That is, I want you to meet some of your fellow readers who have supported this year’s fundraising drive for Children’s Hospital.
They’re people such as Maggie and Larry Roffee of Gaithersburg, who wrote: “As our friends and we are now in the ‘grandparent’ and ‘retirement’ age group, we have decided that we have enough ‘stuff.’ This year in lieu of shopping and sending out gifts, we have agreed to contribute to local charities. We have decided that our gift would be sent to The Post for the Children’s National Medical Center.”
The English family of Olney donated $1 for every year that their adult son, Harold, has been alive. “Children’s helped him survive his first few months of life,” wrote the Englishes. “Many thanks!”
Alicia E. Porter wrote: “We are fortunate to have Children’s Hospital. My children used it.”
Catherine S. Lyon wrote, “As a first-time grandmother-to-be, I pray that our only involvement with our local ‘Children’s’ will be to write checks to support them.”
A reader named Jackie wrote, “My two little grandkidlings have health insurance. . . . Thank you, Children’s Hospital.”
J.T. Johnson was moved by the very first story I wrote this year, about Zoie Prandy, a little girl from Bowie who was diagnosed with a tumor in her kidney. “I am delighted to learn that this story has a happy, fairy tale-like ending,” wrote J.T. “As I read the details of an innocent child’s fight against such a devastating disease, I knew I had to act, to make a difference in a young life that has just begun to live and has so much to offer the world. Hopefully, others will follow suit.”
Another reader wrote: “Once again we give in honor of our healthy son (now 12) who, despite a rough pneumonia week this year, has had the fortune of wonderful health. Non-employment continues, though, and our contribution is much smaller than desired.”
That was certainly an undercurrent in some of the letters I received — and understandably so — but it’s nice to know that even in a time of tightened belts, so many people still want to donate.
An inmate from the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown wrote: “Though I cannot do anything about the wrongs I have created, I can, at the very least, go forward into the future creating good instead of evil.” He donated $400.
I know that not everyone can donate $400. But as this year’s campaign draws to a close — it ends on Friday — I hope you will take a moment to think of an amount you might be able to give. All the money raised during our campaign goes to the hospital’s uncompensated care fund, which pays the bills of poor children. To donate, go to washingtonpost.com/childrenshospital, or send a check or money order (payable to Children’s Hospital) to Washington Post Campaign, P.O. Box 17390, Baltimore, Md. 21297-1390.
Donors who give $250 or more will receive a $20 gift certificate to the Chef Geoff family of restaurants. Thank you.
Here’s an update on an update: Last week I wrote about the continuing search for Sassafras , the beagle who has been missing since April. Owners Jeff Abramson and Beth Edinger of Takoma Park, and a network of volunteers, have left practically no stone unturned in their search for Sassafras, who was spotted as recently as last month not far from Columbia Country Club.
Several readers who live near the club offered to allow a humane trap on their property, but Jeff and Beth have decided against that. The problem is this: In cold weather, an animal can die of hypothermia if trapped in a cage. The couple aren’t able to check the trap every two hours, as their tracker recommends. They don’t want to endanger any animal, be it a stray cat or a curious raccoon. A Web cam might seem like the answer, but the technical challenges are pretty sizable, Jeff said. It’s one thing to set up a Web cam in your home office, bathed as you are in wi-fi and with electricity just an extension cord away. It’s another thing to do it outside.
They might deploy a trap when the weather warms up.
8 Read more of Kelly’s column at washingtonpost.com/johnkelly