BJC ‘Gives Back’ to local charities nominated by employees


Seventeen charities near and dear to the hearts of nominating BJC team members will receive a share of the annual BJC Gives Back program to support local, grassroots non-profit health and human service agencies. In its fourth year, BJC Gives Back invites BJC employees to nominate a charitable organization to receive a portion of the $30,000 total funding. This year, more than 100 employees submitted deserving nominations, which were then evaluated by the St. Louis Community Foundation.

The 17 recommended organizations will receive donations ranging from $500 to $3,500. Selected charities span the BJC service region across the bistate area, and support health, wellness, basic needs, youth and child development, education and behavioral health. This year’s awardees are:

  • Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc.

  • Find the Light Foundation

  • Got Your Six Support Dogs

  • Gwendolyn’s Gifts

  • Home Sweet Home

  • Loaves and Fishes for St. Louis

  • Metro Trans Umbrella Group

  • Missouri Veterans Endeavor (MOVE STL)

  • Project Downtown Saint Louis

  • Room at the Inn

  • Shoe Fly

  • Staunton Helping Hands Center

  • St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies

  • TEAM Food Pantry

  • The Bennett Project

  • The Peace Pantry

  • Thrive Advocates for Behavioral Health

“As a nonprofit organization and one of the region’s largest employers, BJC works to be a good neighbor and community member, including support of charitable organizations that share a similar mission,” says Rich Liekweg, BJC president and CEO. “We hope these donations to some unsung heroes among charities can help support our collective missions in the communities we serve together.”

BJC introduced the BJC Gives Back employee nomination opportunity as part of the system’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2018. Due to the enthusiastic response from team members, it has continued annually since that first year.

About St. Louis Community Foundation

With nominations from more than 100 caring team members, BJC partnered with the St. Louis Community Foundation to evaluate and make recommendations on distribution of the $30,000 charitable donation. Located in Clayton, Missouri, the Foundation has been helping St. Louisans put charitable dollars to work since 1915. The Foundation works with individuals, nonprofits, corporations and community leaders to build a more equitable and vibrant region, making a difference through inspired charitable giving.

Meet the charities

Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc. – Eureka, Missouri

  • Provides horsemanship experience to persons with mental, physical and psychological challenges to enhance the quality and productivity of their lives.

  • Nominated by: Carole Schmitt, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

Find the Light Foundation – St. Louis City, Missouri

  • Advocates on behalf of students for mental health funding and resources in schools.

  • Nominated by: Alexis Bingham, Barnes-Jewish Hospital

Got Your Six Support Dogs – Maryville, Illinois

  • Provides specialized service dogs to veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or sexual trauma.

  • Nominated by: Lori Combs and Deb Springer, BJC HealthCare

Gwendolyn’s Gifts – St. Charles, Missouri

  • Provides emotional and financial support to families of children on palliative and/or hospice care.

  • Nominated by: Susan Kuse, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Stephanie Roehr, Eileen Spinner, Lauren Sullivan and Andrea Tritinger, BJC Hospice

Home Sweet Home – Brentwood, Missouri

  • Gives under-served families a sense of pride and improves the quality of their lives by providing basic household furnishings.

  • Nominated by: B. Gregory Paulus, BJC HealthCare

Loaves and Fishes for St. Louis – Maryland Heights, Missouri

  • Provides uplifting and supportive services that empower clients to become financially secure and have a stable home.

  • Nominated by: Hania Zaouche, Missouri Baptist Medical Center

Metro Trans Umbrella Group – St. Louis City, Missouri

  • Unites the Trans community and promotes education and visibility in the Saint Louis metro area.

  • Nominated by: Jen Patton, BJC HealthCare, and Lauren Reynolds, BJC Amici

Missouri Veterans Endeavor (MOVE STL) – St. Louis City, Missouri

  • A community for Veterans and their families experiencing homelessness.

  • Nominated by: Kelly Davis, BJC HealthCare

Project Downtown Saint Louis – St. Louis City, Missouri

  • Individuals of Saint Louis community providing those in need with resources such as food, clothing and school supplies.

  • Nominated by: Imani Khan, St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Room at the Inn – Bridgeton, Missouri

  • A shelter for women, children and families who are homeless.

  • Nominated by: Lori Renna, BJC HealthCare

Shoe Fly – St. Louis City, Missouri

  • Distributes new shoes through a network of vetted neighborhood partners located strategically throughout the metro Saint Louis area.

  • Nominated by: Edna Davis-Scott, Missouri Baptist Medical Center

Staunton Helping Hands Center – Staunton, Illinois

  • Provides Macoupin County residents with healthy food, hygiene and basic needs.

  • Nominated by: Kimberley Williams, BJC HealthCare

St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies – St. Louis City, Missouri

  • Helps ensure that individuals in need have access to essential period products required to fully participate in daily life with dignity and works to raise awareness about the causes and consequences of “period poverty” in our community.

  • Nominated by: Dolores Fumagalli, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

TEAM Food Pantry – Florissant, Missouri

  • Serves those in need in the Florissant and Hazelwood communities.

  • Nominated by: Nicole Ormsby, Christian Hospital

The Bennett Project – Florissant, Missouri

  • Provides support for children with pediatric cancer and their families during and following treatment.

  • Nominated by: Antoinette Blassie, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Lisa Knowles, BJC HealthCare

The Peace Pantry – Cedar Hill, Missouri

  • Improves the health and well-being of those in need with emphasis on securing and providing food and clothing as well as giving nurturing spiritual support.

  • Nominated by: Kim Soest, BJC HealthCare

Thrive Advocates for Behavioral Health – Chesterfield, Missouri

  • Aims to improve the identification and treatment of mental health and substance use disorder for young people aged 26 and younger.

  • Nominated by: Ginger Boden, Jayne Luebbert, Beth Malcom, Ellen Ranney, Matthew Schoonover, Daniel Stroisch and Samantha Titchenal, BJC HealthCare


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