Finding my Elk Purpose
There are many families that receive help from the financial assistance program at Children’s Hospital entitled Uncompensated Care. My family was one of them. As a mother of a nine-year-old who was rushed to Children’s with juvenile diabetes, I was overwhelmed first with the disease, the educational programs offered by the hospital, medications, and the follow up care calendar. Then came the bills. It was beyond manageable. I called to find out if there was help for families like ours. We weren’t on public assistance or receiving food stamps, but with a bill like that, my mortgage and other regular bills would be a problem. Then they told me about Uncompensated Care. The woman on the phone just said, “Apply. At the very least, your bill will be cut significantly. It won’t hurt.” So, I did. Not only was my bill only 10% of what it was originally, but the program took care of the rest of my bills for the following 365 days. I was filled with gratitude. I could get my son the best care in the state, and I wouldn’t lose my house.
Now, fast forward ten years to Winter Convention, followed by Elks Day last year in 2019. My eyes and heart were opened to my purpose. It was there that I learned about how much the Elks can and do give to the Uncompensated Care program at Children’s. I had to find a way to jumpstart our giving at our Lodge for Children’s Hospital. I decided to start putting my efforts into putting on events, setting up raffle baskets, and encouraging people to give to one of the longest standing charities that the BPOE supports: Children’s Hospital.
Pictured here is that same son of mine holding goodie bags for patients that were unable to knock on doors on his favorite childhood holiday and go trick-or-treating. When he handed the secretary in the Volunteers Office the box full of goodies, he glowed with pride. Upon exiting the hospital, he stopped me. “Mom, thank you. That was amazing. Thanks for letting me give back.” The journey isn’t over. I’m definitely not alone. There will always be a need, and as Elks, we all have an opportunity to participate in giving back to our community.
Julie Seeder, Loyal Knight, Children’s Hospital Chairman