Cover Stories

A Caring Card: SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation

Fifty dollars goes a long way when you spend it on a Glennon Card. The card is a fundraising initiative of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation and the Glennon Guild—a 300-member women’s organization that supports the hospital. “It’s such a simple idea,” says card chairperson Lori Hartman, who has seen the program go from strength to strength in a short span of time. For a 10-day period in October, the $50 card entitles the cardholder to a 20 percent discount off regularly priced merchandise at more than 300 stores, restaurants and salons across the area. The entire dollar amount from card sales goes to improving the children’s hospital, and since 2011, when the program was launched, the card has raised more than $785,000.

ofc-ssm-cardinal-glennon-10-12Hartman says the program most recently has funded upgrades for the outpatient cancer center and atrium area, but also has paid for essential pieces of telemedicine and heart and lung monitoring equipment. “Sometimes, a need can be met with $5,000, and sometimes $100,000,” Hartman says, adding that funds raised each year are used in entirety. “What comes in, goes back out,” she says. This year, the money is earmarked for upgrades to the 4 North inpatient cancer care unit. Currently, patient bathrooms are shared and hospital rooms offer no proper place for parents of sick children to rest. Hartman says proceeds will afford sleep sofas for families and private bathrooms for patients.

The card also helps participating vendors. Alpine Shop in Kirkwood was one of the original program participants, and marketing director Todd Oswald says the Glennon Card has been a boon for business from the start. “After the first year, we looked at our traffic and sales numbers to determine if it made sense to continue. By pretty much every metric we looked at, the card had been a success,” he says, adding that because so many big national chains have extended the holiday season to encourage more sales, it is more important than ever to drive traffic to locally owned businesses. Oswald also has a personal interest in the program since his own daughter, who has a rare chromosomal condition, has been a patient at Cardinal Glennon.

Hartman says the beauty of the card is that it benefits everyone: the savvy shopper (the card pays for itself after $250 in purchases); the merchants who enjoy a boost in sales during a traditionally slow pre-holiday period; and, best of all, the 200,000 children the hospital serves each year. “You can’t put a price on that,” she says.

This year, the Glennon Card can be used from Oct. 21 through 30 and may be purchased online at glennoncard.org until Oct. 14, and at 208 of the participating stores until Oct. 30. For a complete list of stores selling the card, visit glennoncard.org. A complete list of participating businesses is available through the mobile app, mobile.glennoncard.org.

Pictured: Dr. Chris Hugge with patient Chance Wunderle
Photo courtesy of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation

The Glennon Card can be used between Oct. 21 and Oct. 30 and may be purchased online at glennoncard.org until Oct. 14, and at many participating stores until Oct. 30. For a complete list, visit glennoncard.org. A complete list of businesses offering the discount is available through mobile app mobile.glennoncard.org. Pictured on the cover: Hospital patients play pinball at Amini’s.
Cover design by Jon Fogel | Photo by Tim Parker Photography

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