Giving Has No Age

Taylor Joy Wise and Caitlyn Messbarger were compelled to donate money to the Fairfield Medical Center Foundation for their own reasons. For Taylor, 11, it was all about keeping her great-grandmother’s memory alive. For Caitlyn, 14, it was to support a cause near and dear to her heart.

Together, they are among the FMC Foundation’s youngest philanthropists.

“It’s wonderful that these girls understand at such a young age how important it is to give back to those in need,” said Ricki Chenault, FMC Foundation executive director.

Taylor gave the $50 she won from selling her 4-H pig to the Foundation’s Grateful Patient Program in memory of her late great-grandmother, Joy Kosch-Parsons, who had always been proud of her granddaughter’s 4-H involvement. This program allows donors to show gratitude for the care they or a loved one received at FMC.

“I asked my parents if I could donate in memory of ‘Nana’ because she meant so much to me,” said Taylor, of Somerset. “It just felt like the right thing to do.”

Taylor’s mother, Alisia Wise, said Joy died on Christmas Day and was a longtime volunteer at FMC. She said Joy would have been proud of Taylor’s donation.

“My daughter has a huge heart,” Alisia said. “She enjoys helping others and wants to start a tradition each year to give to those in need. I’m very proud of her.”

For Caitlyn, a Rushville resident, it became a Christmas tradition to donate her money to the FMC Foundation. Every December, Caitlyn uses the money that her paternal grandparents, Jerry and Beverly Messbarger, would have spent on her Christmas presents to make a donation to a local charity instead.

“She said she didn’t need anything for Christmas, at least from us, and instead wanted to help the less fortunate,” Beverly said.

After learning about infant loss in Fairfield County, Caitlyn chose the FMC Maternity Department for her charity project. Part of that money went to buy sleep sacks for newborns.

“I learned infant deaths could be minimized by using swaddles to prevent entanglement in extra bedding materials,” Caitlyn said.

In addition to the sleep sacks, Caitlyn’s donation also was used to purchase bereavement boxes for parents who have lost their baby.

“The bereavement boxes are filled with mementos such as a keepsake impression of the infant’s footprint, a ring, a donated handmade garment, identification bands and photos,” Caitlyn said. “It warmed my heart to learn that such a box provides much needed healing and comfort to families in need.”

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