Bryan Health and Holmes Elementary Join Forces to Raise $16,000 During “Big Change Challenge”

Lincoln, NE (December 14, 2016) – Bryan Health and Holmes Elementary joined forces to raise $16,000 through their Big Change Challenge, a fundraiser that will benefit students at the elementary school and patients and families at the Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“At Bryan, it’s very important for us to give back to the community that has given us so much,” said Wendy Muir, director of nursing at Bryan Medical Center. “The Big Change Challenge was a great opportunity for us because it allowed anyone who passed through our doors to get involved. We’re very excited that this program will benefit young people of all ages, from our tiniest of patients in the NICU to the students at Holmes Elementary.”

In 2012, Bryan Health accepted an invitation to participate in the Big Change Challenge from Holmes Elementary School. Students, teachers and staff began collecting pennies and loose change at the Holmes campus to donate. At Bryan, a large Plexiglas enclosure was placed in the lobby of the hospital that allowed patients, visitors, guests and staff to do the same. Several other groups from across the community also became involved and contributed to the cause, including students at Lincoln High School and students enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s English as a Second Language Program.

Donations added up to $16,016, with the Plexiglas enclosure containing nearly three tons of loose change and bills. Proceeds from the challenge will be split evenly between the two organizations. Holmes Elementary will use the donations to fund programs that will directly benefit their students. At Bryan, the funds will benefit patient and family care efforts in the NICU.

“We were thrilled when Bryan Health accepted our invitation to participate in our Big Change Challenge,” said Haeven Pedersen, principal at Holmes Elementary. “It’s very important that we teach our students how to be selfless and give back when they can. They learned a lot during this process and it’s such a privilege to team up with an organization like Bryan and be able to help so many young people.”

Both organizations held contests in the days leading up to the big reveal to estimate how much money was stored in the enclosure. Bryan Health hosted a Facebook contest in which the winner received a Total Indulgence Spa Package at Bryan LifePointe, while a lucky student at Holmes Elementary received a new iPad for the closest guess.