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The Spirit of Giving Learned From a Young Age

August 24, 2022 Posted in: Stories of Giving  3 minute read time

People have different reasons for giving back to an organization. Siblings Lee and Julia Hall learned it at a young age, just by seeing the spirit of giving of their parents, Bob and Bonnie Hall. The Lexington couple set the example for unselfish giving whenever they attended church.

“Julia and I were always taught through demonstration the importance of giving,” Lee Hall said. “They (their parents) demonstrated that by doing without things they would have liked to have to give to the less fortunate or to somebody doing a service or ministry important to them.”

So when Lee Hall was asked to join the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation board of directors, he could not say no. He’s a former chair of the board.

The Spirit of Giving Learned From a Young Age

“I’m Catholic, so being able to serve on the board of Lexington’s preeminent hospital, but also Lexington’s Catholic hospital, was something that was important to me … to see that type of Christian care extended through the ministry,” he said.

Over the years, both Bob and Bonnie Hall had had life-saving surgeries and procedures performed at Saint Joseph Hospital, Lee and Julia said. Bonnie Hall died in 2017. In 2018, Lee and Julia, inspired by their parents, wanted to do something for the hospital in their honor.

Extending Hospitality

In discussions with the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, Lee and Julia settled on something that mirrored what their family did well — hospitality.

“The waiting room was where we had spent countless hours. We believed that could be a good way to provide hospitality to people in a hospital setting,” Julia Hall said.

The siblings liked that the renovated surgery waiting room would serve people from throughout Kentucky, and searched for photographs that would relate to Kentuckians from not only central Kentucky, but also from other parts of the state. “I wanted people, no matter where they’re from, to be able to find a little corner in there,” she said, “to provide a few minutes of escape or comfort to be surrounded by in that room.”

The Bob and Bonnie Hall waiting room opened in October 2018.

“It’s a way we honor two people who have been just perfect examples of selfless giving over the course of my lifetime,” Julia said. “For us to do something that provides someone else a source of comfort honors my mom and dad.”

The Halls believe being a part of a philanthropic organization is more than just attending meetings — you should fully participate, Julia said. She’s now a member of the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation board.

A New Way to Help

When the pandemic turned philanthropy upside-down, canceling many big events like the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation Gala in 2020, Foundation staff launched a new fundraiser to help patients of CHI Saint Joseph Health facilities. The Evening of Hope, first held in May 2021, offers an opportunity for donors to gather at small dinner parties to get together and hear about the work of, and patients served by, the Foundation.

Lee Hall and his wife, Stephanie, were among the hosts for the inaugural event last year and plan on participating in some way this year. “It had a more intimate, casual experience to talk about the mission of the Foundation,” he said.

Julia will host a dinner party this year. She said the Evening of Hope, “really lends itself to more meaningful conversations.”

“Giving back is important to us,” Lee Hall said. “Seeing the example set by our parents, it was just something that osmotically took off on its own within our own lives.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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