Enrichment Club Donation Recipient Receives Heart Transplant, Club Plans for Future Donations
A rare circumstance occurs when adults in custody (AIC) can so positively affect a community. The Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution’s Enrichment Club donation to the Children Oregon Transplant Association was one such rarity – an opportunity to raise funds for a local Pendleton student who required a life-saving heart transplant. High school student Miranda Case was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Now, after multiple heart surgeries and as a high school student with aspirations for college, she needed a complete heart transplant.
In August of 2022, the Enrichment Club held a fundraiser which contributed to an $8,809.84 donation. Other members of the community and organizations also made donations to the cause, ultimately reaching the $50,000 goal to support the transplant surgery for the Case daughter. Miranda recently underwent the operation. The Case family wrote the following message addressing the many donors and supporters:
“We hope that you all had a good night. It has been a long one for us. We were able to get a little bit of rest. Miranda is still in the operating room at this time. We have been told that the surgeons have gotten her a new heart in and that she is off the bypass machine. That is good news. Now they are waiting for her new heart to get acclimated and for it to start functioning efficiently. We are not sure how much longer it will be, but it sounds like things are going as they had anticipated they would.
We had some pastor friends come and join us at the hospital last night before Miranda went to surgery and Paul stayed with us through the night and will be here until Miranda is out of surgery. We appreciate having him here. We also want to thank you again for all of your prayers, thoughts, and support. It is very much appreciated, and we feel very loved.”
While the Enrichment Club members are the ones who pose for photographs with oversized checks, credit is also due to the numerous staff members who help facilitate these fundraisers. “Without staff support,” stated the Enrichment Club President Phillip Luna, “we wouldn’t be able to do nearly any of the things we are able to. They give us the avenue, the opportunity to do something more.” In addition, the hundreds of AICs who participated in the fundraiser are crucial in making such a significant donation.
This year the club is looking to make donations to the organizations One Simple Wish, The Alzheimer’s Association, Hope for Warriors, Constructing Hope, and Mental Health America, to name a few. “We all have different charities we want to donate to.” said Club Ambassador Nico Sias. “Planning a donation to The Alzheimer’s Association is important to me because it’s something that could happen to all of us. And it doesn’t get a lot of attention.”
Currently, the Enrichment Club is working on a unique donation project called Break the Cycle. If implemented the project would create and fund scholarships for children who have or have had an incarcerated parent. “This is incredibly important to us – to create a scholarship program,” said the Club President. “There are a lot of hoops to jump through, but if this works out it may be most important thing we’ve ever done as a club.” The program’s intention would be to award college scholarships to students who have been impacted by a parent’s incarceration. “Kids who have an incarcerated parent are statistically more likely to become incarcerated themselves,” said the Club President, “we’d like to try and break that cycle, even for just a few.”
All donations made are a result of the tireless efforts of the club members, the support provided by EOCI staff and administration, and the hard-earned dollars of AIC contributors.
Written by Phillip Luna