The Ellen DeGeneres Show and St. Camillus Have Something in Common

I happened to catch the last few minutes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on TV a few days ago. It featured a montage highlighting recent viewers who had received generous sums of cash from the show and its corporate sponsor, Shutterfly.

Now I don’t know who Ellen’s guests were that day, or who or what they were discussing earlier in the episode, but they surely must have saved the best for last.

I was hooked.

The generosity of the show and its partner was life-changing for each and every worthy winner or, in some cases, winners. Whether it was the humble teacher who was quietly spending her own money for materials to provide a better education for her students, or the unsuspecting teen with special needs, or the veteran who had bravely served our nation and had the debilitating scars to prove it, all recipients were incredibly deserving and their respective reactions were priceless.

As the segment progressed, I found myself moved to the point that tears were welling up behind my eyes.

I questioned my reaction. “Why am I having such a strong (and slightly embarrassing reaction) to this TV segment?” I thought. “This is crazy.”

That’s when it hit me. I was experiencing the sheer joy of giving.

You’d be hard pressed to judge just whose joy was more or higher or bigger that afternoon. Was it the lucky recipients, or was it the even luckier Ms. DeGeneres and her Shutterfly sponsors?

My money’s on the donors.

My reaction to that segment of The Ellen DeGeneres Show is precisely my reaction each time I pass the Annual Giving Garden in the lobby and main hallway at St. Camillus: sheer pride and joy that our donors have enabled us to create and grow something so attractive, so fresh and uplifting that directly improves the quality of life for our amazing residents, patients and their loved ones, as well as our staff and visitors.

Last year nearly 100 donors combined gave more than $11,000 to the Annual Giving Garden. Those funds were used to help cover the considerable cost of updating and modernizing the two main elevators at St. Camillus.

We’ve added several new donors to the Annual Giving Garden since the start of this year, and one donor has already renewed his generous donation in honor of his family.

Just like me and the dozens of other donors, his reaction to supporting the Annual Giving Garden at The Centers at St. Camillus again was priceless. It was sheer joy.

Just like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, when it comes to the Annual Giving Garden and just who gets more joy out of it – my money’s on the donors.

The Annual Giving Garden is a series of colorful murals at The Centers at St. Camillus that feature leaves and flowers representing various levels of support and which are personalized for the donor. Several donors choose to give either in honor of someone special or in memory of a loved one.

 Leaves and flowers remain in the garden for one year; by renewing your gift each year, you can ensure your leaf or flower remains in the garden annually.

Michael Cropped To learn more about the Annual Giving Garden or to make your tax-deductible donation to it, please contact Michael Connor, Relationship Development Coordinator, at (315) 703-0822 or visit online and click on “Support.”