The United Way of Greater St. Louis is an organization that we are proud to support. For the past two years, Mississippi Lime, HBM and its employees have raised nearly $100,000 each year to support the many programs and initiatives the United Way provides for the St. Louis community.
We are thrilled to have 100% employee participation, and are proud to match employee contributions dollar for dollar through a corporate match. HBM believes in the importance of investing in our community, and the United Way represents and efficient way for us to have a broad impact.
The United Way is an organization that looks to strengthen the community by providing people with health and human services. Charlie Dolan, along with his parents Kristin and John, is a young recipient of United Way’s services. Here is his story:
Charlie was born with a rare eye condition called Peters Anomaly that caused him to become legally blind. As new parents, Kristin and John felt devastated and helpless and were seeking a remedy that would restore Charlie’s vision, even partially. For the first seven months of Charlie’s life, he and his parents bounced from doctor appointment to doctor appointment, enduring emergency cornea transplants, glaucoma surgery and 48 rounds of medication.
After seven long months, Charlie’s parents were able to take a step back and assess his developmental delays and obtain the therapy he required. They relocated to Illinois where John was able to obtain a job transfer with the military and where Charlie could receive treatment from a leading children’s hospital – Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments, a United Way supported center.
Delta Gamma provided Kristin and John with hope as other children with similar vision impairments were successfully undergoing treatment. As John said, “The biggest gift Delta Gamma gave us was hope.” Kristin and John saw seven-year-olds and teenagers with vision impairments functioning as other children: going to school, eating on their own and playing.
Charlie can see objects up close but relies on his sense of touch to explore his surroundings, focusing on size and texture. He also works on mobility – walking, running and climbing. Without the therapy services Delta Gamma provides, Charlie might not be able to do everyday actions such as sitting up, stepping or climbing.
We are inspired by the work the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Children and adults who are encountering a major life challenge receive services and more importantly, the hope, required to face life’s challenges with dignity and determination. We are grateful for all of our employees who share this vision for supporting the community.
From our family of companies to yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
You can watch Charlie’s story here.