After hearing the moving childhood story of concierge Annette Alvarez, residents and associates at HarborChase of the Park Cities (a community of luxury senior residences) decided to collect donations for children, tweens and teens at the Scottish Rite Hospital. The community has collected various items, including card games, mini Lego kits, small stuffed animals, craft packets and activity books to help reduce the children’s anxiety and provide a distraction while they are at the hospital. The initiative is especially important for Alvarez because she once a patient at Scottish Rite. Alvarez was born weighing 1 pound, 3 ounces with dislocated hips. When she began to walk, her legs would get crossed and tangled. At the age of five, her mother took her to the hospital, where she stayed for the next two years with one wish: to be able to dance one day. Today, thanks to the exceptional care she received, Alvarez can dance as much as she wants. She and the residents are honored to collect items that will bring joy to the children at the hospital.
“Words can’t express how much love and appreciation I have for Scottish Rite Hospital and the care I received when I was a child,” said Alvarez. “My mom didn’t have the funds to take care of my treatments when I was in the hospital, but luckily their financial assistance program paid the entire bill. I know exactly what the children and teens at the hospital are going through. That’s why I am elated to have the opportunity to donate toys and other items that will put smiles on their faces during a difficult time.”
During her two years at Scottish Rite Hospital, Alvarez was confined to a hospital bed with pins in her legs and knees and received multiple surgeries. Alvarez says when her brothers and sisters visited her they weren’t allowed into her room, so they would wave to each other through a window. The only time Alvarez was allowed to go home was for Christmas. She remembers her mother helping her get into the car with a waist-high cast with a bar across her body. She was so happy to go home she didn’t even mind the struggle of wearing the cast. When Alvarez turned seven, she was finally able to go home and has lived life to the fullest since then. The community understands the pivotal role Scottish Rite played in Alvarez’s life and wanted to do what they could to show their appreciation.
“We are honored Annette decided to share her story, and we are thrilled to organize donations that will help lift the spirits of children who are going through the same thing Annette did,” said Heather Corton, executive director. “We can’t even imagine how difficult this must be for children who are currently preparing for a procedure or are in recovery. Scottish Rite Hospital does amazing things to help families take care of their beloved children, and we are proud to extend a helping hand.”