Richland residents Nat and Jenny Cowell are raising their four sons to make a difference.
Each time the boys get their allowance, they divide it between three jars: one to spend, one to save and one to donate. The boys each decide for themselves where to donate the money in that third jar.
Recently, the donation was particularly special for one of the boys.
"Our two youngest boys are twins," said Jenny. "They were born at Kadlec five weeks early. Josh, who was born second, was not quite ready to be born. He had respiratory distress syndrome and was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit."
He spent five days in the NICU and an additional few days in the Pediatric Unit.
"It was a wonderful experience," she said. "They were so careful with us. We are extremely thankful for what they did for us. Josh is just fine."
A few months ago, Nat heard about the fundraising efforts Kadlec Foundation is spearheading to expand Kadlec's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). After Nat relayed the story about the NICU expansion to Josh, he decided that was what he wanted to support with the money in his donation jar.
But not only did he want to donate, he went to his three brothers and suggested they donate their money to the NICU expansion campaign, too. They agreed.
So, Josh, Sam, Travis and Micah combined their money for a total of $151.18. Jenny sent in a note with the donation to Kadlec Foundation, describing their story. She also included a photo of Josh when he was in the NICU and another of him holding a baseball trophy – a happy, healthy 9-year-old boy.
Their donation, combined with thousands of others, is making a difference for other babies who need a little help to get off to the right start. That's neighbors helping neighbors, making a difference.