Generosity Heals: How You Can Support Your Community

2020 has tried people in ways they likely never imagined. But it has also been filled with a lot of good. People have been able to find light in the darkness. People have been given second chances and new opportunities.


Like mother-daughter duo Tina and Mahki White. 2020 marked Tina White’s first year in remission from breast cancer. Tina received her breast cancer treatment at Kettering Cancer Center and her daughter, Makhi, attended CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery), a six-week program developed to help children understand and express the complex emotions associated with cancer. Tina and Mahki made it through some of their hardest hours and are now healthy, happy, and loving life.

Jerry and Sue Burrey also feel like they have a new lease on life. They celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary in 2020 after Jerry had lifesaving heart surgery at Kettering Medical Center. They are optimistic about the future and looking forward to celebrating their 49th anniversary.

Sixty-three Kettering College students, including Mason Callahan, have also had reason to celebrate this year. These students received 82 scholarships to help them pursue their educations in health care.

All of these individuals were positively impacted by services, technology, and programs made possible through the giving of others and the Kettering Medical Center Foundation.

“No matter who you are, or where you are, the act of bettering another person’s life is part of human nature,” says Rick Thie, president of Kettering Medical Center Foundation.

Kettering Medical Center Foundation is one of four philanthropic foundations, including Fort Hamilton Foundation, Grandview Foundation, and Greene Medical Foundation, affiliated with Kettering Health Network. When you give your time or money to these foundations, you are directly helping other people, and you are also improving your own health.

Helping others helps your health

“Charitable giving is linked to a stronger immune response, decreased levels of stress hormone, and decreased blood pressure,” says Amber Rose, director of Annual Giving and Special Events at Kettering Medical Center Foundation.

In addition to the physical health benefits associated with practicing generosity, people who give are also

  • More calm. Volunteering and charitable giving can enhance a person’s social networks. Being around other people, and helping them, is rewarding and can have a stress-reducing effect.
  • When people give money to others, parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness are more active and engaged compared to when people spend money on themselves. When these regions of the brain are stimulated, endorphins are released and create feelings of happiness.
  • Likely to live longer. A University of California, Berkeley study showed people who were over the age of 55 and volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than those who did not volunteer.

Building a stronger community

“When people give to one of the foundations, they are making an immediate impact but also providing for the next generation,” says Rick.

Collectively, Kettering College students received over $100,000 in scholarship money in 2020. Many of these students, like Patrick Jean-Jacques and Brianna Wise who received scholarships in the past, go on to work for Kettering Health Network and provide care for people in local communities.

Currently, nearly 75% of Kettering College nursing graduates become nurses with Kettering Health Network.

“You never know you’ll need health care, until you need it,” says Amber. “Giving now helps people when they are in some of their most vulnerable moments, but it also ensures that you and your children will continue to have the best-in-class technology and care if you need it later in life.”

Ways to give

Volunteer: “Kettering Health Network can deliver the level of care we can because of our amazing volunteers,” says Rick. “Whether it’s by brightening a patient’s day or supporting medical staff, volunteers make a difference in patient lives every single day.”

Donate: Every amount makes a big difference. Your donation will improve the quality of life for people in local communities by providing excellence in health care, research, and medical education.


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