On Thursday, November 1st, across the United States, seven different Butler offices gathered together to form the most cheerful assembly group. Butler employees stuck stickers on glossy bags and handed them down the line to be filled with yellow chapstick, a bubble bottle adorned with a heart, a bracelet with encouraging words, all the while others remained coloring pictures with the message “You are Special” emblazoned on them. Tables were covered in crayon packs while Butler volunteers talked about how happy the children in their neighboring hospitals would be to receive a few moments of childhood fun amidst the medical charts and exams they may face during their long hospital stays.
Butler Managing Partner, Scott Katz, met Message of Hope Founder, Emi Burke, during the Annual Loss Executive Association (LEA) meeting. While talking, Burke shared her story about being a parent of an ill child who required ongoing treatments and hospitalization. She experienced the need for hope and an escape for children like her son and saw an opportunity to bring joy through fun activity bags.
“Emi was very uplifting and impressive—in the course of dealing with a personal crisis with her son, instead of choosing to step away and give up, rather, she found purpose and chose to help other people,” said Katz.
Katz was inspired and saw an opportunity for Butler. Service is what the firm is about: Service to each other, Service to clients, and Service to the community. Getting involved in the Message of Hope’s mission to deliver a boost of happiness to hospitalized children was an initiative our staff was eager to get behind.
When asked why this project was important to her, Patricia Hutson, the office manager in the Butler Miami office said, “We’re helping children that might not have all the resources and letting them know the community is thinking about them.”
Janis Morris, a paralegal at the Butler Dallas office, described that the desks were converted into mini “Hope Factories.” Among the piles of pinwheels and crayons, there was unity as everyone joyfully took part in coloring cards, which was therapeutic even for our staff members.
Some Butler employees went as far as getting their family involved. Carly Willcox, a client relations assistant, and Cyndi McDaniel, a scheduling clerk at our Tampa office took leftover bags home to assemble with their family members.
“Anytime I can do something for the Butler family, I participate,” said McDaniel, who regularly participates in Butler service projects.
Together the Butler family was able to ship over 470 Happy Hope bags that will bring a smile to severely ill children across the country. These activity bags are more than a diversion; they bring a sense of joy to a young, worried mind, restoring a child’s spirit.
Not only did this project impact the lives of these children but it also brought unity to our staff and families in a meaningful way.
The Happy Hope Packages were delivered to the following locations:
St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa
Tampa General Children’s Medical Center
Shriner’s Hospital for Children- Tampa
Ronald McDonald House of Miami
Ronald McDonald House of Tallahassee
Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare
The Salah Foundation at Children’s Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale
Ronald McDonald House of Dallas
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia
Rush University Children’s Hospital in Chicago
Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill in Charlotte