Be Careful What You Wish For: The New Annual Giving Garden at The Centers at St. Camillus

By Michael Connor, Relationship Development Coordinator

“Be careful what you wish for,” is an adage that my late mother loved to toss out to me as an occasional maternal, always omniscient warning.

When I began working in the marketing department of The Centers at St. Camillus last spring, my colleagues and I collectively dreamed of the new Annual Giving Garden.

We hoped it might be a novel, affordable and attractive way to encourage annual support from donors to The Centers at St. Camillus, while beautifying our lobby for everyone – especially our residents and patients – to enjoy.

We wanted to raise funds to support St. Camillus’ mission of caring for life through a broad range of health care services.

We wished it to be successful. Well, Mom was right – “Be careful what you wish for.”

What was initially envisioned as the Annual Giving Garden – a mural of colorful leaves and flowers personalized with the names of donors, or sentiments in honor or memory of someone special to them – has flourished into four distinct and different murals that beautifully illustrate the generosity of our donors.

Tax-deductible gifts to our non-profit health care community vary from $50 personalized Leaves to $1,000 Tree Flowers with three additional giving levels – $100 Daylilies, $250 Daisies and $500 Hollyhocks – in between.

To date, we have 65 donors who have made 70 gifts. Think of that; that means that some donors to the Annual Giving Garden have made more than one gift.

I didn’t even think to wish for that.

Like bees to blossoms, the new Annual Giving Garden has attracted all types of donors – from current donors to former and new donors, including several generous members of our Board of Trustees, the Friends of St. Camillus, and, perhaps most impressive and telling of all, staff.

Supporters may live around the corner or a dozen states away. But, the unifying factor of the new Annual Giving Garden is that all of its donors have been touched in one way or another by the extraordinary care found at The Centers at St. Camillus, intertwined with their awe-inspiring generosity of spirit to help and truly uplift our older residents and patients, and those who care for them.

Given the initial success of the Annual Giving Garden, I feel compelled to make a few more wishes:

I wish more people would consider a gift to our Annual Giving Garden.

I wish more people would visit our residents and patients more often and take in our Annual Giving Garden while they’re here.

I wish I would have to break the news, yet again, to our maintenance staff that we need to clear more wall space to make way for another Annual Giving Garden mural.

Sorry, Mom.

Michael CroppedIf you would like to learn more or contribute to the new Annual Giving Garden at The Centers at St. Camillus, contact Michael Connor, Relationship Development Coordinator, by calling (315) 703-0822. Or click here.