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Philanthropy Saves Children’s Lives Across Southwest Florida

From Chris Simoneau, Lee Health’s chief development, marketing and communications officer.

Philanthropy is defined as the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation to good causes.

In Southwest Florida, we are extremely fortunate to have such a giving community. One that supports each other; one that gives to those who are in need.

At Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, around 75% of the pediatric patients we serve are either uninsured, underinsured or on Medicaid. No child is ever turned away due to their family’s inability to pay.

Golisano Children’s Hospital, which is the region’s only children’s hospital, exists because of philanthropy. Once housed inside HealthPark Medical Center, the children’s hospital became a standalone, 7-story facility in 2017, thanks to a groundbreaking $20 million gift from philanthropist Tom Golisano, as well as an additional $80 million from philanthropists from across Southwest Florida.

Gifts – both big and small – have a huge impact in a child’s life at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

If you feel compelled to give, there are different campaigns you can take part in.

As a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partner, Golisano Children’s Hospital receives support from its affiliated fundraising campaigns. One recently began and another is upcoming.

The Publix Miracles Campaign began this week and runs through June 12th. During this time, “miracle coupons” will be given to Publix customers who make a donation while at the register. The coupon booklet offers up to $20 in savings from leading vendors.

On June 13, Southwest Florida Walmart and Sam’s Club associates will kick off their fundraising campaign benefitting Golisano Children’s Hospital. It gives customers and members different options to donate at the register or online. The fundraising campaign runs through July 10.

Every dollar raised from both campaigns goes to help kids at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Over the years, philanthropy has enabled Golisano Children’s Hospital to grow exponentially and add crucial services, including a pediatric neurosurgery program in collaboration with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital; a specialized pediatric ophthalmology clinic, the SWFL Children’s Charities Eye Institute, which is the largest pediatric ophthalmology office between Tampa and Miami; the expansion of behavioral and mental health services for children; and many other key programs and services.

Golisano Children’s Hospital is one of only nine centers in the state to offer complete pediatric cancer care and many programs are funded through donations and community support. The hospital’s hematology and oncology clinic has an average of 500 visits per month, and survival rates for pediatric oncology patients are higher at Golisano Children’s Hospital than the national average.

I could share story after story of kids’ lives who are changed and saved by the amazing teams at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

If you’re unable to go to Publix, Walmart or Sam’s Club during these campaigns, you can also donate through

If you’re able to give – even just a little – I really encourage you to do so. I can assure you, it will have a significant impact in the lives of children across our region.