“When I’m talking to customers, I say, just remember, there might be a day that you need Children’s National, and you want to know that Children’s National is going to be there for you,” said Varsylvia James, a mother, grandmother, and Costco Wholesale employee since 1999. She is one of the thousands of Costco employees across the region who collect donations from members and fellow employees to support Children’s National each May.
This year, Varsylvia and her grandson shared their story at the annual Costco Northeast Charity Classic on May 4. Through their inspiring story and the support of Costco vendors and leadership, the golf tournament raised $1.2 million for Children’s National. Though this event and their annual fundraising campaign in the warehouses from May 1-31, Costco raised more than $2 million for Children’s National this year. Costco has been a partner with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1988 and has raised more than $240 million for children’s hospitals around the country, including $25.8 million for Children’s National alone.
See more photos from Costco's recent fundraising efforts.
Varsylvia is a strong advocate because her family has needed Children’s National on two occasions – first when her son was born with a hole in his heart, and again when her grandson Chace, now 4, was born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, and scoliosis.
Chace’s facial abnormalities were first detected during an ultrasound. When he was born, he was immediately flown to Children’s National – the doctors told their family that it was one of the most severe cases of cleft lip they’d ever seen.
“His doctors gave it their best, so Chace would have a fighting chance,” Varsylvia said. “Now he can talk just as clear as anyone else. He’s a happy little boy who likes to go to school and play with all the other kids. We never wanted him to feel inhibited because of his limitations.” Because of Children’s National, he doesn’t. Chace was recently accepted into the KIPP DC Arts & Technology Academy for elementary school.
She believes corporate partners and community members should rally around Children’s National for one important reason: because children are our future. “This is our future generation,” she said. “We want them to be smart and strong and healthy.”
At Children’s National, we are grateful for Costco and all of our corporate and community partners for their commitment to helping kids grow up stronger.