Earlier this year Fairfield Memorial Hospital received a $100 grant from Hershey’s Heartwarming Project. This submission was entered by six year old Perry Kimberlin of Fairfield. Youth Service America (YSA) was searching for Heartwarming Young Heroes with creative ideas to foster meaningful connections, promote inclusion and teach empathy.

Perry, who is now seven years old, has been enjoying the progress of the new building expansion at Fairfield Memorial Hospital and decided to submit a grant application to help fund new equipment to support the Hospital.  The requirements for this grant was to plan a youth-led service project or community-building activity for Global Youth Service Day and engage at least 10, 25, or 50 other youth participants (volunteers) depending on grant size. As a part of Perry’s “Be the Change” project he decided to set up buckets for loose change at retail stores, grocery stores, schools and the hospital. The money from the buckets went towards new equipment for Fairfield Memorial Hospital.

Perry had such an awe-inspiring outreach that went beyond this small town in Southern Illinois.  Perry received a donation all the way from the State of Hawaii. If that wasn’t cool enough Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey made time to come by North Side School and drop off a donation in one of Perry’s buckets and meet his homeroom class. When the fundraising efforts were finished, Perry cashed out his change buckets at Fairfield National Bank making his total $3,262.46.  Fairfield Memorial Hospital then matched the amount of money making his total $6,524.92. The money raised was then used to purchase a sensory light table, sound board and two activity boards for pediatric patients in Therapy.

“I am so thankful for the funds raised by Perry for the pediatric equipment we now utilize in our Therapy Department. The positive impact this makes on our patients is incredible.  We love that we can offer our pediatric patients some new and unique sensory play experiences.” stated Jennifer Bowers PTA, Therapy Department Leader.

“Perry’s kind gesture to raise funds for pediatric equipment at Fairfield Memorial Hospital has not gone unnoticed by our patients. The new equipment has been installed and put to great use in Fairfield Memorial Hospital’s Therapy Department for pediatric patients. We are grateful for kindhearted people like Perry who took the time to give back to something that will help other children.  We can’t thank Perry enough for his determination and dedication to the “Be the Change” fundraiser.” stated FMH CEO Katherine Bunting-Williams.