Volunteer Group Turns Shopping Into $10 Million of Support

Since 1910, the Junior Co-Operative Society has helped make the hospital feel a little more like home for the kids and families who rely on us for care. 

They began as a group of women who made toys for our patients. Today, they help run our gift shops, offering families, visitors and staff a variety of unique, hand-picked items—and critical philanthropic support to the medical center.  

“Everyone who stops by has a story, and everyone deserves a friendly smile,” explains Kathy Cassady, president of the Junior Co-Operative Society. She joined as a way to give back for the expert care her daughter received in our Newborn Intensive Care Unit. 

Being able to offer hope and kindness to those who walk through the gift shop door means the world to her. “If it weren’t for Cincinnati Children’s, my daughter might not be here today. It’s so rewarding to be able to help support the medical center. And our volunteers have a lot of fun together too!”

Because all proceeds from the gift shops are donated back to the medical center, its motto is “the more you shop, the more we give.” And thanks to a banner holiday shopping season last December, the Junior Co-Operative Society’s lifetime giving topped $10 million. 

Funds from the Junior Co-Ops have advanced programs and projects across dozens of divisions of the hospital. And now, their current project is supporting the new Critical Care Building (CCB)–our new, state-of-the-art facility for our most fragile and complex patients. 

“The work that happens here impacts not only the kids of Cincinnati, but also the country and beyond,” Kathy says proudly. “For those who want to support the medical center, volunteering with the Junior Co-Ops is a great way to do it.”

The Junior Co-Operative Society—one of our fundraising auxiliaries—helps bring hope and healing to our most fragile patients through their support of our new Critical Care Building. 

Our Dedicated CEO Prepares to Pass the Torch 

Michael Fisher, president and CEO, recently announced that he will retire from his role at Cincinnati Children’s. He plans to continue his work here until a successor is onboarded, which is expected by the end of 2021. 

Having served as a member of the Board of Trustees beginning in 2004, Michael took the helm as CEO in January 2010. His dedication to the health and safety of kids and families in Cincinnati and beyond will continue to have a profound influence, as will his commitment to our community partners and donors.  

Michael’s leadership has prepared us well, and we’ll continue with his aspirational plan—which focuses on building an even brighter future by our 150th birthday in 2033. Under Michael’s guidance, our long-term commitments include re-imagining and personalizing care, dramatically improving prevention and treatment for mental health and helping the region’s kids be the healthiest in the nation. 

Our future also includes Cincinnati Children’s largest expansion ever—with the Critical Care Building set to open this year, as well as construction on a new inpatient mental health facility at the College Hill campus.

“While our work is never done, we are stronger than ever,” Michael says. “As I move to this next chapter of my career, my heart and passion will always be for kids, our community and Cincinnati Children’s.”