In the early 1950s, a small group of women with big plans and even bigger hearts decided to dedicate their resources to a new children’s hospital in Houston. Their commitment to helping children and families evolved into The Auxiliary to Texas Children’s Hospital, and so began a story of generosity that has touched hundreds of thousands of lives.
For more than 60 years, The Auxiliary to Texas Children’s Hospital has filled a niche that no other group could, providing compassion to patients and their families alike. When the hospital was first founded, 300 women volunteered for placements across six services areas. Today, more than 1,300 people of all ages and walks of life give their time in over 100 positions.
“Volunteers are wonderful representatives of Texas Children’s, both inside the walls of the hospital and in the communities where they work and live,” Paige Schulz, director of Volunteer Services, said.
Auxiliary volunteers’ signature red vests and smiling faces are often the first sights patients and families see when they walk through the hospital’s doors. Their energy and enthusiasm make a huge difference throughout Texas Children’s — at the Texas Medical Center Campus, the West Campus, the Pavilion for Women and soon at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.
“I am constantly amazed by the power of the red vest,” Tina Dooley, 2016 Auxiliary president, said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped at the hospital and even at the grocery store by doctors and families who want to thank The Auxiliary for making a difference.”
In addition to tens of thousands of annual volunteer hours, The Auxiliary is also one of the top 10 donors to Texas Children’s Hospital and has given more than $6 million to various capital campaigns and hospital programs since 1999. The group’s recent $1.5 million commitment to the Promise Campaign will support Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, helping set a path for future volunteer opportunities and also continuing The Auxiliary’s legacy of giving.
“At Texas Children’s, volunteers are committed to helping patients and families,” Rocky Ghoneim, immediate past president of The Auxiliary, said. “It’s important for us to maintain that connection as the hospital grows.”
Investing in the Future of the Community
The Auxiliary generously supports a wide array of programs for patients, families and even Texas Children’s world-class experts.
Since 1977, The Auxiliary has awarded fellowships to the hospital’s most promising physician-scientists. Awards in 2015 totaled more than $450,000.
The Auxiliary budgets more than $200,000 a year to provide grants for departments to purchase items that may not otherwise be funded through the hospital’s budget.
Nearly 200 high school and college students volunteer at the Texas Medical Center campus and in the community.
The Auxiliary scholarship program
Six $3,000 college scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding young volunteers.
Patient and family programs
Volunteers lend helping hands in many ways, including holding sick babies, providing companionship for patients, offering spiritual care, transporting tea and activity carts, and hosting holiday activities.
Gift and toy shops
The Auxiliary plays a pivotal role in the operation of six gift shops and helps determine how their revenues are reinvested back into the hospital.