A few months ago, as I watched Ellen DeGeneres generously donate to Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas, I smiled. Whitney, whose students were often homeless, hungry and without proper clothing, was certainly worthy of Ellen’s attention. I also found myself thinking: this type of humanitarian giving needs to happen more often.
Flash forward to this past week and my joyous reaction to a Collier County Public Schools press release that happened across my desk.
On November 17, 2011, in my new hometown of Naples, Florida, Mike Davis Elementary School received an unexpected $10,000 donation from Naples-based Health Management Associates, owner of Physicians Regional Healthcare System.
However, as a relative newcomer to Naples and an empty nester, I had never heard of Mike Davis Elementary. Similar to Ellen’s target school, over 97% of their students live in low-income apartment housing with 95% of the children qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. After consulting a map, I discovered I pass by this deserving school on a frequent basis without the slightest knowledge of the needs that existed there.
As a media professional and patient, I have had the great joy of working alongside members of the Physicians Regional team in various capacities. I have helped them promote noteworthy events. I have walked with them at Marco’s Relay for Life. And, of course, they skillfully care for all that ails me.
However, I comment today as the force behind a movement to promote Professional Courtesy (rediscovercourtesy.org) in celebration of the generous spirit of Health Management Associates. Though not a part of the various Naples Sightseeing Tours, or a must-see shopping destination like Historic Fifth Avenue, Mike Davis Elementary and countless others in cities and towns all over the country are no less deserving of our collective philanthropic attention.
To this grand gesture I say a heartfelt “thank you” to Ellen and Health Management Associates and, to the nationwide business community, a resounding “Who’s Next?”