When Margie and Tom Gart considered how their philanthropy could best help address the COVID-19 crisis, the answer was clear.
For decades, they have supported and relied on National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital. As the coronavirus began to spread across the country, the Garts knew the hospital would play a major role in providing the care, research and testing needed to combat the disease. When National Jewish Health launched its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, the couple was among the first to contribute.
“We always try to be analytical and strategic with our giving, but this is a time when it’s hard not to also be a little emotional,” says Margie, a donor-advised fundholder and former board and staff member at Rose Community Foundation. “We’re really concerned for the health and safety of people who are vulnerable in this environment.”
“At National Jewish, there’s a commitment to excellence,” explains Tom, who previously served as board chair for the hospital. “Responding to this pandemic is right in their wheelhouse. They’re filling voids where the government hasn’t been able to step up and they are on the frontlines of resolving this health crisis, not just in our community, but nationally.”
National Jewish Health has been working since January to lead pandemic response efforts. They have conducted extensive COVID-19 research and are implementing broader testing for the virus, including a drive-thru testing site on their campus. In addition, they are not only continuing care of their patients but are deploying their intensive care practitioners to cover hundreds of ICU beds in hospitals in five states.
Now, as the Garts look ahead to future giving opportunities, they are focusing their attention on supporting a wider array of vulnerable populations and organizations.
“We’re aware of the privilege we have to be able to make gifts like this and so we want to do everything we can to serve people who are hurting and who are struggling,” says Margie. “Whether it’s people who are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling organizations that are important to the fabric of a thriving community, we want to help uphold the lives and dignity of those who are really being hurt by this.”
In this time when we cannot physically reach out to others in our community, we CAN come together through our giving. Rose Community Foundation has created a resources page with giving opportunities and will keep it updated as we learn more. Thank you for working collectively with us to support the community we all love.