The Hummingbird Project
Hummingbirds have a special meaning for our George Mark patients, families, and staff. These tiny fliers are a sign of healing, comfort and hope, especially when we need it most. Our gardens are alive with hummingbirds.
That is our inspiration for The Hummingbird Project — a special fund designed to expand our programs to ensure the House is “humming” with memory-making programs and activities like art, music, swimming, and pet therapy — all of which bring joy and enhance the quality of life for all who stay at George Mark Children’s House.
Join us to support The Hummingbird Project
Together we can keep our house humming for the children and families who need us. Your gift will help expand our extraordinary care to children with life-limiting conditions so that George Mark families never receive a bill for our services.
Your gift will be DOUBLED to make an even greater impact — thanks to a generous donor who has provided a matching gift challenge up to $500,000.
Please make your tax-deductible contribution to George Mark Children’s House today.
Patients, families, and staff who spend time at George Mark often point to singular moments that are transformational and life-changing. We think of these as “hummingbird moments.”
Shekinah & Peter visited George Mark House and met with our staff and they knew they were in the right place to bring their infant son, Lars, born at just 32 weeks with severe polymicrogyria—a rare condition that affects brain development. His parents Shekinah and Peter were told he was unlikely to survive infancy.
“We immediately felt safe, protected and at peace with the staff,” says Shekinah. GMCH gave them a safe, supportive space to be with Lars as a family, relaxing in the soothing warm water of our spa, enjoying a picnic, and introducing Lars to close friends and family. “Thanks to the volunteers, doctors, nurses, and staff, it was the most cherished time we spent with our son. They were like angels, helping us cope and say goodbye to him as he was gradually fading.”
Shekinah stayed intricately connected to the House as a speaker, bereaved parent resource, member of the Board of Directors and now CEO of George Mark Children’s House. “As a bereaved parent, I understand what families are going through, and I am committed to the mission to provide children and families with the same compassion and comprehensive care my family and I received”.
Charlie has stayed at George Mark multiple times for respite care since he was five-years old. Now a young adult, he and his family have racked up a lot of happy childhood memories here. Recently, Charlie confided with his mother that he knows his time on earth is limited and when that difficult moment comes, he wants to be at George Mark Children’s House surrounded by his family, friends and his George Mark caregiving team. He is confident that House’s exceptional staff will give his mom and dad the comfort, and strength needed to say goodbye to their son.
Reggie & Kristalle after they received the devastating news that their baby Jabari, who had been diagnosed with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, was declining, they brought him to George Mark for end of life care. Reggie says, “From the moment we arrived, we felt that George Mark had our best interests at heart.” We didn’t want to do things that would make Jabari suffer unnecessarily just to prolong his life. We made decisions along the way to keep up his spirits and make sure he was happy.”
Kristalle, Reggie, and Jabari had three days together at George Mark. The day Jabari died, in their midst of their loss and pain, Reggie remembers that the nurse supported him in bathing his son. Bathing Jabari was, in its own way, an act of grace. Reggie says, “I was able to bathe him, dress him, and brush his hair, and we could grieve and pray in a respectful way.”
Reggie and Kristalle reflect on their experience as Jabari’s parents: “You don’t want to look back with regrets. It’s hard enough. When we look back – we look at happy times and positive times. We have a lifetime of memories.”
Do you have a Hummingbird Moment?
We’d love to hear about it!
These powerful stories of healing, comfort, and hope live on our website, and throughout our social media channels.