By Jan Jennings, Director of Development

When my seven-year-old daughter Sophia asked me how she could raise money for Mountain Family, I was touched. This is my job, and I never thought she would want to follow in my footsteps. I learned, however, that she really wanted to thank Xavier, one of our medical assistants, for doing such a good job when giving her a vaccine against COVID.

Like many of you as parents of young children who received the vaccine, I knew that getting a shot for her would be a challenge. In the Basalt exam room, she hid under the chair as my husband Mike and I tried to calm her down. We asked Xavier for a numbing spray, which he gently sprayed on her shoulder. As she was screaming in protest, she asked for another minute before the shot. Xavier calmly said, “Sure, you can have another minute. I’ll be back soon.” Looking at the painted mural of monkeys climbing a tree in the room, I think my daughter envisioned how she might escape by climbing that tree. Xavier returned, and while my husband and I had to hold her down, he swiftly gave her the vaccine shot.

After the shot, Sophia said, “That didn’t hurt too bad.”

The following day, Sophia asked me how she could raise money for Mountain Family to help Xavier (and the rest of our providers and healthcare staff) do their jobs helping people. She suggested selling lemonade. As we live at the end of a cul-de-sac on a road that does not have much traffic, I knew this would not work.

Then, she said, “I have an idea.  I can sell Loki’s dogtoys that he doesn’t like.”  Then she proceeded to make two drawings to hang in the back seat windows of my car.  She drew an American flag and wrote:  “I am Sophia.  I am seling dogtoys.  Cum to our home in Basalt.”

I drove with these signs for two days, and then Sophia asked if I could spread the word.  I told her I would share it in my newsletter to inspire some gifts.

You don’t have to “sel dogtoys” to make a big difference for families and patients in need. We care for over 22,400 patients in Pitkin, Garfield, and Eagle counties, and we provided over 15,600 vaccinations so far against COVID (with over 2,500 for students in Roaring Fork Schools). Please make a gift to honor our healthcare heroes in our Health For All Fund. You, too, can help Xavier and the rest of our staff provide compassionate, high-quality care to thousands of patients, one patient and one kid at a time.