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Reese Jackson, 15, has a passion for helping animals. She volunteers at the Fort Worth Zoo and has a goal of attending Texas A&M University to become a veterinarian.
Not only is she an animal lover, she's also had a strong desire to give back from a young age. For her 8th birthday, in lieu of gifts for herself, she asked her party guests to make a donation to a local nonprofit that helps animals. Each year since, she has selected a different cause that helps animals, from local to international programs.
Last year, Reese's school participated in Second Star to the Right, a loose change drive within the Aledo School District that benefited Cook Children's. Her class, having raised the most money of all the 8th grade classes, was invited to take a tour of Cook Children's Medical Center to help them better understand how their philanthropy would benefit our patients.
While on the tour, Reese's class met Ralph, one of the five therapy dogs in our Sit...Stay...PLAY program. After learning how Ralph and the other dogs help patients stay calm through difficult procedures, visit patient rooms and participate in patient care, Reese decided that her 15th birthday would benefit Sit...Stay...PLAY. By asking for donations for Cook Children's instead of birthday gifts, Reese became a member of the Forever Young Birthday Club.
Over the past eight years, the support that Reese receives from her friends and family has grown, and so has the amount she has been able to raise. This year, she raised an all-time high of more than $1,200! And, for the first time ever, she decided to support the same program two years in a row, Sit...Stay...PLAY.
"I think that animals are really important for any kid, especially a kid that cannot go out and play," said Reese. "I wanted to help provide important social and physical care through animals. These dogs and the people dedicated to them are absolutely amazing. They help the kids emotionally and physically. I think the dogs bring a special source of comfort to the kids and families that are at Cook Children's. I am just really happy that I could help!"
Sit...Stay...PLAY has captured Reese's heart for animals and for giving back. Because of her generosity, Ralph, Chanel, Kitty, Lulu and Journey are all leaving their paw prints on the lives of our patients.
Your generosity does not go unnoticed by others. It is emulated by those who realize its value to the community. It is revered by those who care for our patients because it enables them to do what they do best. And it is appreciated by every patient and every family who benefits from it.
Thank you from each family, patient, nurse, physician and staff member whose life you will have touched with your generosity.