Companies That Care: Christopher’s
It’s hard not to get behind a good cause, and the reason why can be even more meaningful if you have a personal connection to it. Mark Coulter, owner of Christopher’s, is well aware of this. His gift boutique in Kirkwood has been involved with the Glennon Card program since its inception in 2011—it’s a participating retailer that goes one step further by selling the card to customers as well. Because of his history with SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, his decision to support the initiative was an easy one.
“I was born prematurely, so I was a patient at the hospital from birth until I was around 8 years old,” he explains. He suffered from severe childhood asthma and often visited the hospital to check that his lungs were developing correctly. He vividly recalls his breathing becoming irregular during a family trip to Florida. “I was rushed to the hospital, and the doctors found that my lung had collapsed,” he says. “I had to be airlifted back to St. Louis to ensure I received the best care.”
Despite the harrowing nature of his experiences, Coulter has fond memories of his time as a Glennon kid. While he notes it wasn’t easy spending visits walking a treadmill while hooked up to machines that monitored his breathing, the doctors and nurses always did everything they could to make the time enjoyable. “The staff was amazing, and they were an instrumental part of my growth,” he says. “Everyone was always so cheerful and full of life. They always knew how to make my visits fun so I had a great experience.”
The care and kindness Coulter experienced as a child greatly influenced him. Now, he brings the spirit of that compassion to his work at Christopher’s. “I love my business and helping put a smile on people’s faces,” he notes. “That’s a big part of Glennon Card. It’s all about giving back and helping the St. Louis community.” The $50 digital or $60 printed shopping cards provide discounts at hundreds of local retailers and eateries from Oct. 18-27, and all proceeds from card sales go toward caring for the young patients at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
The program provides benefits for everyone involved, according to Coulter. “The Glennon Card program has grown significantly since it started,” he notes. “Every year, it brings more people from all over St. Louis into the store.” Throughout the 10 days, shoppers get a substantial discount on the shop’s unique array of merchandise, which includes home goods, clothing and accessories. “It’s perfect for getting a jumpstart on holiday shopping,” Coulter says.
The appeal of the card, however, is much more than just the practical benefits. Both the store and its shoppers are able to help a great organization that supports local kids. “We’re in the gifting business, so our job is to bring joy to people,” Coulter says. “Giving back to the St. Louis community is part of our philosophy. Supporting the hospital through Glennon Card helps us share our philanthropic mission.”
Purchase a Glennon Card at glennoncard.org for 10 days of major savings at more than 345 local retailers and eateries Oct. 18-27. Look for more coverage on the program in the Oct. 9 issue of Town&Style.
Pictured at top: Owner Mark Coulter at Christopher’s
Photo courtesy of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation