Why I Give

Donor Profile: 

Keri Brookshire-Heavin



Tell me how you first got involved with the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation?
I first got involved as a donor as an employee, and then later I got involved on the board after I became the Chief Nursing Officer. I have been with the hospital since 2005 and became a donor a year or two after I started at the hospital.

What made you first start donating to the Foundation?
I did it because the option was there, and you could give any amount. I gave a little of my paycheck every month, but since I have really learned about the Foundation and what the funds do, I have become very passionate about donating.

What was your first impression of the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation?
Once I really started to get to know what the Foundation does, I was very impressed about the opportunities they have had to help people and what the funds do, like the Abbie Darnell Fund, the Greatest Needs Fund and the Enhancing Nursing Excellence Fund, for which I am the fund administrator. It is really all about helping people in the long run, and not everyone realizes it. Once they do, they get behind the Foundation and giving.

What do you find most challenging about the mission?
I think the most challenging is being the best steward of the money given to the funds at the Foundation. I am always very aware of how those funds are used because I am using people’s gifts and their hard-earned money. I want to make sure I use it in a way that is the most effective. Whatever the intention of that fund is, I want to make sure it is the most effective for that intention. It’s a challenge because I take it really seriously, and it is a big responsibility.

What do you wish other people knew about the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation?
I would want them to know all of the good work the Foundation does. They see all the big projects, like the Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) for example, but they don’t really see the Baby Steps Fund. They don’t see the mother who we helped pay for funeral expenses for a baby she lost when she couldn’t afford it. Those stories which really make a huge impact, people really don’t see. They do not realize all the extent of what the Foundation does, or we would have even more donors.

The interest in the Foundation seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?
When you have big accomplishments like the DDCI, I think that really gets the Foundation out in the public. It would really be great for our employees to be the spokespeople in the community. For someone who can’t give a lot and feels their money will not make a difference—it does. When you think about the fact that it could help a patient with medications or nutritional supplements people start to get a little more personal and realize it’s about people. It’s not about big structures. It’s not about the building of the DDCI. It is about the people helped there. I think getting that message out is what is going to grow the Foundation.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about (donating, volunteering, etc.)?
The reward you get for donating time and money, and not just to the Foundation but in any way, is not something that is measurable. Sometimes you do not even know the impact, but I always feel a great level of comfort that the donation that I send to the Foundation, even if I do not know how it is used, is helping somebody. That is a good feeling.