Nickels & Dimes Add Up in Auto Workers Fundraiser

Posted at 12:07 PM, Jan 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-23 12:09:00-05

MOLINE, Mich.– They spent weeks collecting loose change for the young patients at Helen DeVos CHildren’s Hospital. Thursday, workers in the reconditioning unit of West Michigan Auto Auction presented their collection to hospital representatives.

“It warms your heart on a cold day,” said Rhys VanDemark, a child life specialist with the hospital.

The effort, dubbed Recon’s HEarts, was started back in November, to honor fellow worker Lucy Sloan. Her teenaged son died of cancer. This was their way of giving back. 

All those nickels, dimes and quarters, along with a donation from GE, added up to nearly $3000.

“People who probably could use a little assistance themselves around Christmas time had such a heart for others,” said  Carl Miskotten, general manager with West Michigan Auto Auction. “It’s made them 10 feet tall in our eyes.”

The child life programs cover all the playrooms and interactive activities hospital staff do with the kids, much of which is not covered by insurance.

It may not be a typical way to raise money. And it took time, about two months, of consistently filling cups in the auto shop. But the effort makes it that much more special for the children’s hospital.

“They came up with something that couldn’t have been done anywhere else but Auto Auction but they made it happen,” said VanDemark.

And the effort doesn’t end with Thursday’s check presentation. The recon workers, along with many car dealers the Auto Auction works with, all plan to continue raising money for the hospital.