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Outreach Spotlight: Riley Children’s Foundation

by: Lexi Warren Marketing

SilverTech supports the top comprehensive children’s hospital in Indiana.  

If there is a hospital that has the complete trust of parents from all over the state of Indiana, it has to be Riley Children’s Hospital. As one of the best hospitals in the Midwest and the top children's hospital in the state of Indiana, Riley Children’s has been serving Hoosiers for 100 years and continues to grow its vast range of capabilities. It’s difficult to meet someone in Indiana who hasn’t been impacted by this amazing organization whether that be through a patient, at a community outreach event, or through Riley Children’s contributions to child healthcare all over the state. It’s a no-brainer why the SilverTech team chose Riley Children’s Foundation for its next donation for our 25th anniversary celebration. With our donation of $2,500 going to amazing local causes each month, our team felt passionate about contributing to an organization that truly does good for the kids and families in the community – Riley Children’s Foundation.  

SilverTech had the opportunity to sit down with Alane Helmer, Assistant Vice President of Corporate and Foundation Giving for Riley Children’s Foundation, to talk about the amazing ways that Riley Children’s supports Hoosiers all around the state of Indiana and the research it does for children’s health all around the nation.  

The History 

100 years ago this year, Riley Children’s Foundation was started in memory of a beloved Hoosier and children’s poet named James Whitcomb Riley. Following his passing, the people who loved him wanted to see his legacy and love of children continue, so they started the Riley Children’s Association which later became the Riley Children’s Foundation in 1921. Once formed, the foundation began collecting donations and preforming community outreach in order to raise money for the new Riley Children’s Hospital that opened its doors in 1924. While many believe that the hospital came before the foundation, it is actually the foundation that helped bring this amazing plan to fruition and build the legacy that Riley Children’s Hospital has today. Through the support of 100 years of Hoosiers and the generous donations made throughout the years, Riley Children’s has been able to bring levels of innovation to children’s health within the Midwest that is truly life-changing.  

Riley’s Capabilities 

As one of the premier children’s hospitals and research centers for children's health, Riley Children’s is nationally ranked in 9 pediatric specialties including children's cancer, cardiology, gastroenterology, urology, diabetes, neurology, and more. Riley Children’s is a teaching hospital and has a partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine, making access to new treatments and innovative, progressive research in the field that much more attainable.  

Riley Children’s works closely with the Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research and have their own research facility, Children’s Clinical Research Center, to find better solutions for established illnesses as well as conducting clinical trials for difficult-to-treat diseases. Through this research and expertise, Riley Children’s is actually driving pediatric health and treatment options across the world through new treatments and advancements made by the scientists. In addition to their large hospital and resources located in Indianapolis, there are also regional clinics in 92 counties that bring Riley-level care and innovation to children across the entire state of Indiana.  

For the Kids 

At the core, Riley Children’s Foundation and Hospital do it all for one reason: the kids. They do everything in their power to ensure their children's comfort, support families through this difficult time, and provide the best treatments to give these kids the best life possible. Whether a child has the stomach flu or a rare form of cancer, parents know they can trust Riley to do right by their kids and give them the best options for treatment in the state. It's also not uncommon to see parents from neighboring states or from across the country bring their children to Riley because of its amazing resources for many types of illnesses. This comprehensive hospital can treat a full range of illnesses and offer procedures that are often unattainable at most institutions including organ transplant, pediatric trauma, and more. The hospital is even creating a maternity wing that will serve as a place for children to receive Riley care from even before birth and will keep mothers close to their children if they need assistance after birth.  

In addition to its innovative treatments and research, Riley Children’s Foundation also funds Camp Riley, a summer camp for children with physical and cognitive diagnoses that was established in 1955. This fully-funded children’s camp helps kids with disabilities do everything any child should be able to do at sleep-away summer camp including swimming, canoeing, archery, horseback riding, and much more. Camp Riley has 24-hour medical care and highly trained counselors that include medical and nursing directors, resident physicians, nurses, and an entire pharmacy team. Kids with disabilities shouldn’t be restricted from normal childhood activities like summer camp and its fun excursions, that's why being a barrier-free camp is so important and special to the organization and its patients.  

Community Outreach 

If you want to help support Riley Children’s Foundation and Hospital, the best way to contribute would be through donations to help fund more research. When it comes to research and treatment methods for children, they are often greatly underrepresented compared to adult conditions because there are just fewer cases out there. In exchange, money and efforts are spent fighting illnesses in adults and children are often not prioritized, leaving limited treatments and resources for children. This large disparity is why Riley’s research and efforts are so important; they are trying to help fill that gap and create more treatment opportunities for kids that truly need it. 

Other than monetary donations, another way you can donate is through your time. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of immunocompromised children in the hospital, these volunteer opportunities are not available right now to ensure the safety of the kids and staff members who work with them. But, when these in-person volunteers opportunities come back, they are an amazing way to contribute this organization and are a huge help to the hospital staff who have been juggling a lot throughout the pandemic.  

When asked what she wished people knew about Riley Children’s Foundation, Alane Helmer had a simple answer: every dollar really does count. Even if you can’t afford more than a one-dollar donation or the extra change in your cup holder, that money really does add up. Those dollars can mean new medical treatments, gas money for parents to travel to see their sick children, resources for research and so much more. Since 1921 people have been donating and supporting Riley Children’s Foundation, and each of those pennies has contributed to where they are today. Check out their website to donate or find out more information about the organization. 

Riley Children’s Foundation and SilverTech 

When it comes to the state of Indiana, Riley Children’s has a special place in the hearts of Hoosiers near and far. Whether you were a patient, love a patient, or just have a heart for children, this organization means so much to the people of this state. Even at the SilverTech office, we have family members of current and former patients and even have former Riley kids, too. It’s amazing to see the reach that Riley has even outside of the state of Indiana and across the world.  

SilverTech is proud to support and uplift an organization that truly has the best intentions for children of all illnesses and does amazing things with their donations. We could not be more honored to do our part to support and help our local communities through our 25th anniversary outreach efforts – stay tuned for more community outreach stories in the coming months.  

Thank you to Riley Children’s Foundation for your support and contributions to this piece, we are excited to see the awesome things you continue to do #forthekids!