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‘Gratitude changes everything’ — creating a culture of generosity (Part 2)

‘Gratitude changes everything’ — creating a culture of generosity (Part 2)

The guiding principle for the philanthropic efforts of the RRH Foundation can be whittled down to the adopted slogan “gratitude changes everything.” That campaign began with the members of the staff, and has subsequently radiated out into the citizens of our community (and beyond).

While the Foundation has had some prominent champions since donations started pouring in during 2015, getting past the $1 million milestone was the culmination of thousands of contributions. “Every little bit counts,” said Kim Metcalf, executive director.

Metcalf stepped into the leading role of the Foundation in 2018. “I was not looking for a job, but our Foundation is a cause that I believed in, like everyone did, because it is a mission that improves the lives of our entire community.”

She said that several donors have come through with large gifts year after year. “Coso Geothermal has been amazing, Peggy Breeden with the Swap Sheet and AltaOne have been consistent, Mercy Air has been great.”

Dr. Everard Hughes, the specialist in oncology at the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Cancer Center, and his wife Mary have also been significant sources of support.

“Then there are people like Lloyd and Bea Smith, who was a nurse at our hospital for more than 30 years, who gave year after year,” said Metcalf. Then, one year, the Smiths wanted to give more. They donated $130,000 (matched by the foundation) to purchase a Critical Care Transport vehicle. When the Foundation was only $14,000 away from its $1 million milestone, they wrote another check to push RRHF over the line.

The Smiths, like many other generous donors, were reluctant to be publicly recognized for their gift. “We have an incredible community of support here, and I think our residents should know,” said Metcalf. “Some of the specialized care you receive here is because of these kinds of individuals.”

She noted that in metropolitan areas, $10,000 — or even $1 million — is not something that would have a significant impact on an entire community. “Living here, we can feel the difference it makes. And I think the generosity we have experienced at the Foundation is one of the most wonderful aspects of the Ridgecrest community.”

Metcalf spends a lot of time creating opportunities for people to connect to the mission of the Foundation. Read more about that in the next chapter of our series!

For more information call Metcalf at 760-499-3955, email or visit RRH.ORG/FOUNDATION.