A little girl with a big heart; 7-year-old donates to hospital birthing center.

November 6, 2015

Maddie Boerema

Maddie Boerema

By Alan Neushwander, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.

Maddie Boerema, 7, had only made it a couple of steps into the family birthing center at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital when she heard the cries of a newborn baby.

“It sounds so cute,” she said with excitement. 

With a smile from ear to ear, Maddie ran down the hall as an obstetrics nurse took her into a room to visit with a new baby and its mother. 

“The baby was sleeping,” Maddie told her parents as she left the birthing center.  “The mom looked very happy.  They were getting ready to go home.  I told her to have fun.” 

Maddie, a second grade Mason County Central student from Free Soil, was given a tour of the family birthing center after she decided to donate money from her lemonade stand to the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Foundation. 

Her mom, Heather Boerema, said it was Maddie’s idea to have a lemonade stand during Labor Day weekend and donate the money to the hospital.

“I thought she was going to use the money to buy toys or candy, but she said she wanted to give it to the hospital because she knows the hospital helps people.  She’s a very kind little girl.”

With a sandwich bag full of quarters and dollar bills, Maddie donated the proceeds from her lemonade stand to Kaley Petersen, foundation executive director.

“I asked Maddie if she had a certain cause or purpose she wished to use her money towards and let her know about our efforts to upgrade the family birthing center,” said Petersen.  “After sharing the story of helping new mommies and babies, she felt strongly that’s where the money should go.”

Maddie, who is the foundation’s youngest donor, was very excited about helping new babies. 

“I like their tiny hands and feet,” she told Petersen.

“What a heart of gold this little girl has,” said Petersen.  “I think we can all learn from Maddie’s kindness and generosity.  No matter the age or dollar amount, every donor and every dollar makes a difference.”

Maddie’s donation will benefit the family birthing center at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.  Just as many rural hospitals are closing the doors on obstetrics units, Ludington Hospital is planning to expand its unit.  The hospital is in the early stages of planning for a new birthing center. 

Even though the Ludington hospital is now part of Spectrum Health of Grand Rapids, all funds donated to the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Foundation stay in the community, Petersen said. “Every dollar donated to the hospital foundation stays local and goes right back to our community. The donor can even direct where the money goes to.”

“The foundation is critical to the hospital,” Petersen said. In the past few years the foundation has helped provide major funds towards the Women’s Imaging Center and the newly built main entry including the ER and helistop helicopter landing pad. The current major fundraising effort is towards a new birthing center.

Petersen said Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital counts on local philanthropy to help bring needed projects to fruition. There is a 20% philanthropy goal for the Family Birthing Center project.

To learn more about ways to give to the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Foundation or to support the family birthing center, visit the foundation website or call 231.845.2233.

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