|Applications sought for license tag grant
by Mary Helen Yarborough
Children who must endure long stays and frequent visits to the hospital
while their parents struggle to find therapeutic resources and support
are getting a big boost from South Carolina drivers.
Launched in the fall, the special Children’s Hospital license tag has
raised more than $3,000, creating $10,000 that will be distributed
through Volunteer Advisory Committee (VAC) grants. VAC currently is
seeking grant applications for qualified projects that target patient
care at the Children’s Hospital.
The license plate, which is available from the S.C. Department of Motor
Vehicles (DMV), costs $50, from which $42 goes directly to the
Children’s Hospital to support patients, families and staff. Supporters
can continue to support the Children’s Hospital when renewing the plate
each year with their vehicle registration. For an application, go to http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/forms.aspx and complete form MV-95.
Without a budget to market the tag, public relations, word-of-mouth and the Internet has helped create a surprising success.
“Our volunteer board created this and just took the bull by the horns.
It’s been all volunteer developed and run,” said Christine Messick,
Children’s Hospital volunteer coordinator. “Our board members are so
passionate about this hospital and they come with the knowledge about
what the patients and staff need. So they decided to create a funding
vehicle to improve care for the patients and families.”
The primary objective of the VAC grants is to support special projects
dedicated to the tasks of improving patient care, and improving the
hospital experience for patients and their families.
VAC chairman John Brisini originated the idea, Messick said. The board
gained the approval from the state for the tag; then one of the
students suggested the new program get a page on Facebook. “One of the
volunteers, Ainsley Glenn, created a Web page for Facebook, ... which
has been another way we could share information about the Children’s
Hospital, the patients and the license tag fundraiser.”
The Facebook page has taken off. “Someone picked up on it from the
American Hospital Association, and people are blogging about it in
England,” Messick said.
The Facebook page features 5-year-old Joey Benton, a Children’s
Hospital cystic fibrosis patient and poster child for the license tag
Joey and the tag promotion are featured on a billboard facing the
eastbound lanes of I-26 entering Charleston. The billboard, by which
54,000 automobiles pass per day, was donated by Adams Outdoors; and
will remain up for at least four months, Messick said.
Requests for proposals are being sought from grant applicants, which
will be accepted from any department within the Children’s Hospital.
The 2009 grant cycle will begin with the availability of applications
in January, and the deadline for submission is Feb. 2.
For information, contact the VAC Finance Committee, 792-3120; or
e-mail, VACgrants@gmail.com. (The VAC Finance Committee will not fund
any proposals that include components falling within the routine
operating budget of the Children’s Hospital, employee salaries, travel,
or meeting fees.)
VAC will award grants of up to $10,000 depending on the scope of work
and the needs of the project described. (For application instructions,
contact VAC.) Project implementation must be initiated within three
months of receiving funds.
Project results must be submitted to the VAC Finance Committee within
12 months of grant award. (The application form, a one-page narrative,
and itemized budget should be sent to: MUSC Children’s Hospital; VAC
Finance Committee; PO Box 250332; Room 101-CH; 171 Ashley Avenue;
Charleston, SC 29425.)
Friday, Jan. 16, 2009