Le Bonheur Proud
Employees give to build hospital endowment, ensure legacy
The day after she graduated from high school at age 17, Michelle Grandberry started nursing school. She always knew that she wanted to be a nurse.
Sure that she was called to be a nurse, it only took one rotation at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital to find her home. She wanted to take care of the sickest kids – and headed straight for the hospital’s critical care unit.
Grandberry also knew that she needed to give back to the hospital by allocating a portion of her salary to the hospital, even on a starting nurse’s salary. She’s been giving back ever since.
“I feel like I was called to work here, and I can’t imagine not giving back,” said Grandberry, who now serves as clinical director of the hospital’s Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. “I know that children in our region need a place they can come for care. Le Bonheur is that gift.”
Grandberry was one of hundreds of Le Bonheur employees to participate in this year’s “Le Bonheur Proud” internal campaign – an effort to help build Le Bonheur’s $100 million endowment to ensure the hospital is always able to help sick children.
Through the campaign, employees challenge each other to be “Le Bonheur Proud” and give an hour or more each paycheck back to the hospital to help leave a legacy for their community. By designating a portion of their paychecks to the endowment, employees are helping build a permanent fund that will pay for programs children need in the future.
“We are a family committed to each other and our children, and we know that future generations of kids depend on us,” said hospital President and CEO Meri Armour. “Our dedication – in both service and monetary gifts – gives children in our community the best chance at a healthy future. When we give, we are showing commitment to each other and our children.”
The campaign continues. New employees have overwhelmingly agreed to also give a portion of their paychecks, as they begin to work at Le Bonheur. Each Valentine’s Day, Le Bonheur employees will ask each other to recommit to the hospital. The goal, set by the employee-led fundraising committee, is to build a culture of philanthropy at the hospital.
Along with Grandberry, 35-year employee Shawn Holliday joined the “Le Bonheur Proud” campaign in a show of gratitude and because “it was the right thing to do,” she said. Holliday says she’s grateful for what Le Bonheur has meant to her and her community over the years. The hospital’s growth in specialized programs – and expansion in Tupelo, Miss., and Jackson, Tenn., – have been thrilling for her to watch.
“I’m so glad to be a part of that,” Holliday said. “I’m really excited about Le Bonheur’s future.”
So is Grandberry. After 19 years of caring for critically ill children at Le Bonheur, Grandberry says she’s seen first-hand how expert care can be a game changer for families. As Le Bonheur has added services and developed new programs, families are now able to stay at Le Bonheur for care that they once had to travel elsewhere for. Her gifts, she says, help ensure that families can always come to Le Bonheur for anything, and it will be able to help.
“We have to maintain that,” Grandberry said. “Scripture tells us that we are blessed so that we can bless others. Everyone has a Le Bonheur experience, and we have to make sure Le Bonheur is always here. We owe it to our community. If Le Bonheur isn’t here, who will care for our children?”