At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 5: Riley Children’s Foundation
Riley Children’s Hospital is one of the most widely recognized hospitals in Indiana, therefore they thought it appropriate to create a foundation of equal stature. In their continuing effort to help the children of Indiana live better, healthier lives, the Riley Children’s Foundation was formed. Starting all the way back in 1921, this organization was originally founded to honor famed Hoosier/poet James Whitcomb Riley, and currently helps support his historic home in Lockerbie Square Historic District downtown. Just a few years after its inception, the group opened Riley Hospital for Children and to this day continues its work to support local children and families through health services and philanthropic assistance.
The foundation’s main goal is to raise money through donors which goes directly to funding for pediatric research. Through these efforts, Riley Hospital is able to fund research to better understand and treat illnesses like childhood cancer, asthma and others. The money also goes towards state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that aid in creating a more comprehensive health service to those in need. Funding from the foundation also goes to support the hospital’s programs in patient care, which includes newborn and maternity health, as well as family support programs like Child Life. This unique effort helps train professionals charged with supporting children and parents with the uncertainties of their child’s illness.
Camp Riley is another wing of the Riley Children’s Foundation. This annual summer camp, held in Bradford Woods at Indiana University, welcomes hundreds of children and teenagers with physical disabilities each year. Through funding from the foundation, Camp Riley is able to provide a ton of fun activities, allowing these individuals the opportunity to engage in things they never thought they would, or even could. Things like horseback riding, swimming, archery, climbing and even water skiing, are all on the agenda for these kids. The best part, through donations from the Riley Children’s Foundation, Camp Riley is in the unique position to never have to turn away a child due to their family’s financial constraints.
Riley Children’s Foundation raises money in a variety of fun ways. Through the Team Riley program, you can use any run, walk, bike or general athletic event as an opportunity to raise money for Riley. They even allow you to register online if you’re interested in hosting your own Riley fundraising event. For instance, you could start a golf tourney, a silent auction, car wash, lemonade stand or even create a Riley-themed wedding or birthday party to raise money. Even country music star Garth Brooks is getting in on the action. He recently stopped by the hospital to surprise kids with the opening of a brand new play area. As you can see, there are a ton of ways to support Riley. Get creative and stop by the foundation’s website for more info on how you can help!