As you might have seen on Connect his week, the Blue Bird Circle is celebrating its 95th birthday. Can you believe that? Ninety-five years, and they have been truly amazing, decade after decade.
The Blue Bird Circle was formed in 1923 by a group of 15 young women from Houston “to promote the well-being of humanity through the betterment of the community.” That’s an ambitious charge, but it was far from impossible for these aspiring women. Today, the Blue Bird Circle is the oldest and one of the most prominent women’s charitable organizations in the city—an organization that gives back to the community with all its heart and soul.
For those of us at Texas Children’s, the words “Blue Bird Circle” are synonymous with its members’ generosity, volunteerism, commitment, dedication … I could go on and on with that list. Specifically, members of the Blue Bird Circle have been the catalyst for so much of what has happened in pediatric neurology in the past 20 years. A beautiful partnership began when The Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Pediatric Neurology moved from The Methodist Hospital to Texas Children’s in 1998.
When it first moved, the Clinic recorded fewer than 1,000 patient visits a year and had just three doctors. Today, 52 physicians and surgeons see more than 25,000 patients each year, making the clinic the largest of its kind in the world, and our Neuroscience Center is ranked no. 4 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The care we provide, the research we conduct because of the Blue Birds … all this benefits the patients we serve here and children with neurological conditions all over the world. If that’s not the betterment of humanity, I don’t know what is.
In 2014, the Blue Bird Circle donated $2 million to establish the Blue Bird Circle Endowed Chair for Pediatric Neurology and Neurosciences, with Dr. Gary Clark as the first to hold the chair. This is one of only four endowed pediatric chairs in neurology in the country. What an incredible gift.
Over the years, the Blue Birds have given $12 million in other gifts, bringing their total giving to Texas Children’s to an amazing $14 million. And at their recent 95th birthday celebration, they donated another $1.9 million. In addition to their generous funding, Blue Bird members volunteer countless hours at the Clinic and at The Blue Bird Circle Resale Shop, which does an outstanding job of raising awareness in the community about pediatric neurological disorders and all the work Texas Children’s is doing.
I cannot put a price tag on what the Blue Birds are worth to Texas Children’s Hospital, because they are absolutely priceless. Thank you to each and every one of you ladies for your generosity, unfailing support, hard work and especially for the love and joy you bring to patients and families at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Happy 95th birthday Blue Bird Circle … and many more!