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Inspired Giving: The Sharp Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Story

According to its Greek origin, the word “philanthropy” is defined as “a love of humankind.”

This means that people can be philanthropic in many ways — giving gifts of time, talent or treasure. For many individuals, it means they give in more than one way.

True philanthropists at heart, many members of the Sharp Memorial Hospital Auxiliary have spent much of their lives volunteering.

“I started selling war bonds during World War II, and I’ve been volunteering continuously since then,” said long-time volunteer Mary Elise Daley.

For the past 25 years, Mary Elise has volunteered more than 17,000 hours at Sharp. An impressive tally, and yet she’s not alone. Many members of the Sharp Memorial Hospital Auxiliary have donated tens of thousands of hours, including Minnie Price and Doris Heramb.

“I work every Saturday and Sunday, eight hours each day, and every holiday,” explained Minnie, who has volunteered 31,500 hours in the past 53 years. “It’s my nature. When I do something, I do it wholeheartedly.”

In addition to stocking the gift shops, taking photos of newborns and guiding guests through the hospital, the Auxiliary has contributed to the financial health of Sharp, including a $1 million contribution to the Outpatient Pavilion and a $500,000 contribution to the Stephen Birch Healthcare Center at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

“A lot of people in the Auxiliary are working so hard — in the gift shops and hosting special fundraising sales and other events,” said Doris, who has volunteered 26,000 hours over the last 57 years. “I’m very proud that we can support Sharp in these ways.”

Many members of the Auxiliary make personal financial contributions, as well. Recently, Doris made a gift to support Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, where she has been volunteering for the last 16 years.

“I enjoy working there very much. It's a happy place,” she said. 

“After so many years of volunteering at Sharp, I feel like I am a member of the family,” said Mary Elise. “That’s why I’m going to remember Sharp in my trust.”

“I’m happy to do this,” she says. “I believe that no matter which path you choose in life, you must achieve. And no matter which path in life you choose, you must give back.”

Learn more about giving opportunities at Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Mary Birch and how you can help.