Every year, Via Christi associates, volunteers and Ascension partners step up to support those in need by donating to One Community, a combined annual fund-raising campaign for Ascension Via Christi Philanthropy and the United Way of the Plains.
“Last year, through the generous contributions of those who serve at Via Christi, we raised nearly $500,000,” says Monica Coen, Via Christi’s chief philanthropy officer. “Those dollars help fund programs and services that serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
This year’s campaign launched last Friday with a kick-off luncheon, where ambassadors, committee members and senior leaders gathered to pick up campaign materials and assemble snuggly blankets for Forensic Nursing patients and will continue through October.
Dollars raised by One Community support programs that help Via Christi patients or associates in need; Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi, which helps sick and injured kids and their families; Via Christi’s Medical Mission at Home, an annual day of free healthcare; Via Christi’s International Family Medicine Fellowship, which helps prepare physicians to serve some of the most vulnerable patients worldwide; and Via Christi’s Forensic Nursing and human trafficking prevention programs.
They also go to The United Way Community Fund, which supports more than 80 community agencies that provide shelter for abused women, food for the elderly, and after-school training, as well as for programs that keep kids safe, help runaways, and combat gangs and human trafficking.
“Participating in One Community is just something from inside that I feel I need to do,” says Via Christi nurse navigator Dana Rose, a One Community Champion donor who also volunteers her time at Medical Mission at Home and other community events.
"You never know when you’re going to be the one needing help," says Joyce Matthews, who donated to the United Way for years before illness forced her to retire early from her aircraft job.
Without the assistance she’s received from Via Christi’s Community Cares program and patient assistance fund, she says, “We would be out on the street.”