The fates have smiled on us
Donors are the fuel that keeps CHEO moving forward, through their dollars, through their commitment and through the accountability for their donations that they expect and deserve. Donors like Kenn Harper and Kathleen Lippa see their contribution as more than financial – they are taking an active part in the healthcare provided to the youngest members of our community. This integrates them beautifully with the staff at CHEO, all working together each day to help children and youth live their best lives.
Kenn and Kathleen have been long time donors to the CHEO Foundation. While Kenn’s children never required admission to CHEO, he sees this as an indication of his good fortune and turns that gratitude into support for families who have not been so lucky. When Kenn’s granddaughter needed CHEO, things became more personal and Kenn was able to experience the kindness and professionalism of CHEO staff first hand as he accompanied his granddaughter to appointments. His family needed CHEO, and he felt that “when the chips were down and we needed CHEO, it was there for us.”
Supporting local charities that have a visible role in the community is important to this couple, as Kenn explains, “I want to see how my money is being used.” When choosing to give, Kenn and Kathleen look to the healthcare professionals at CHEO to determine what urgent needs require funding most. This is another way that donors can help CHEO address gaps in service and direct funds where they will do the most good.
Ottawa is currently home for Kenn and Kathleen, but having spent many years in Nunavut the care that CHEO provides for children coming from the North is very important to them. Without CHEO these families would not have the same access to care and consultation with specialists. Kenn describes the Northern people as “dear to my heart.” He is “happy to support the work of CHEO,” as they care for this population.
Kenn and Kathleen have made a conscious decision to give to CHEO and support healthcare in a way that makes our community stronger. They feel we are all “fortunate to be living in a country like Canada, with access to healthcare.” While their motivations run deep, through family and roots in the North, their message is simple, “Give, because you can.” And why give to CHEO? “Because you were a kid once and don’t forget it!” Kathleen has a wonderful way of explaining their philanthropic philosophy. She uses the visual of geese flying in a V formation. Many would think the strongest and most able lead the way from start to finish, when in fact as she points out, “the birds switch places throughout their journey, as some lead others rest.” That’s what this donor family is demonstrating through their giving, that working together is easier than facing the challenge alone. This generosity of spirit continues to propel CHEO forward so that people who need help get it, and people who can help, give it.
The CHEO Foundation is grateful to these kind donors, and to all the people who take us a little further thanks to their contribution.