Books, Children and Philanthropy – How a Local Business Gives Back

April 30, 2018

Communities have coalesced around libraries for decades with a shared value of learning and a love for the written word. Add on a heart for children and a dedication to philanthropy, and you have a very special gathering that recently took place in the Krissi Holman Family Resource Library at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

Staff members came together to thank a local business that donated more than $70,000 to the library, specially made for pediatric patients.

The donation came from El Rio Grande Latin Market, a North Texas grocery chain that has donated more than $200,000 to Children’s Health since 2013. El Rio Grande has stores that cater to the Hispanic market in nine locations, including Dallas, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland, and Fort Worth. Their first store is less than a mile from the Children’s Medical Center Dallas campus.

Co-owner Hamdy Shalabi founded the business with his family in 2004. He said he wanted El Rio’s most recent donation to go to the library because it was such a source of relief when his own family members were patients at Children’s Health, including his son.

“This was the brightest part of his day,” Mr. Shalabi said gesturing toward the bookcases. Children’s Health cured the boy – and turned his father into a devoted supporter of the hospital.

“They took excellent care of him,” Mr. Shalabi said. “I really admire every single person that spoke with us today. They’re very attentive and subject-matter experts. They all know how to contribute for the patient.”

Mr. Shalabi attended the check presentation with family members, employees and an oversized gift box signed by customers who donated. Funds from the donation were raised by customers purchasing Children’s Miracle Network rubber wrist bands stamped in Spanish with the words, “Put your money where the miracles are.”

The El Rio Grande donation will be used to upgrade iPads, purchase Kindle tablets and update teaching software.

“We’re very grateful for this generous donation,” psychiatry school services case manager Talia Fayson told the group. “Believe me, it will go to good use.”


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