We are so thankful to a special group of donors called Dream Builders. Dream Builders are caring friends who remember All Children's Hospital in their estate plans through future gifts such as a will, trust, life insurance policy or charitable gift annuity.
Nancy and Robert Shannon are among those friends and have set up a future gift for All Children's in their trust. Nancy and Robert believe "we are all supposed to give of our time talents and treasure. When we don't need our treasure anymore we should share it with our family and loved ones, the college where we received our education and the hospital that took care of our children." The Shannons encourage everyone to consider a gift like this. "People show their love to All Children's by volunteering, fundraising and working at the hospital. It makes them feel good. So why not carry that on even after they are gone to help ensure that All Children's Hospital will always be there for sick children?
"Planned gifts truly are special no matter what the size," adds Nancy. "Sometimes it seems that when people hear about an estate or trust they think that must mean millions of dollars. But that'snot the case?every gift counts."
Every Thursday you will find Nancy spending time in the All Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit(NICU) cuddling and rocking babies, her tender hugs and soothing voice helping these infants to thrive. Nancy and Robert's first experience with All Children's was 26 years ago when their grandson Sam Houston Moran was born prematurely. The Shannon's daughter experienced complications and it was a scary time for the family, but they knew their grandson was getting the very best care in All Children's NICU. The whole family pitched in to make sure that little Sam?who is now a healthy, successful businessman? was never alone. There was always someone there 24/7 to hold him, console him or even just touch him. Nancy remembers Sam's nurse telling her what a difference a touch could make for the tiny babies in the NICU.
During Sam's five-week stay, Nancy and Robert noticed that many babies had no one at the bedside. Some families lived out of town. Other parents had to work and did not have extended family that could stay with their child around the clock. Nancy knew that human contact, just a tender touch, could mean they would get better faster and have better outcomes. She learned there is no better remedy than a tender hug and a soothing voice to help sick babies grow and thrive. And even though the nurses in the NICU provide so much tender loving care, the extra touch from another pair of caring hands helps these infants grow stronger and healthier. It was then that Nancy promised that even after Sam "graduated" from the NICU she would come back as a volunteer to help babies whose parents could not be there every day.
She has logged more than 2,500 hours over 25 years as a NICU volunteer, and she loves running into moms at ACH and in the community and seeing how the babies she held have grown.
During those 25 years, another connection drew the Shannons close to All Children's. In the 1990's their other daughter, Jane, decided to return to St. Petersburg to train to become a neonatal nurse practitioner at All Children's. Jane is a vital member of the NICU staff and is part of the Neonatal Follow-Up Team that sees NICU grads like Evan (see page 24).
Nancy and Robert give more than their time. They give generously of their treasure today in addition to their Dream Builders Gift. The All Children's Hospital Foundation staff estimates that Nancy and Robert have given more memorial and tribute gifts than any other donor in the history of the Foundation.
"Memorial gifts are so apropos," says Nancy. "When someone leaves the earth they would be thrilled to know a gift was made to welcome someone to the earth." Nancy says she knows firsthand how great the need is at All Children's, and she can't think of a better way to remember or honor someone than to help an organization that helps sick children.