When it comes to donations for OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the Costco Warehouse in Tigard, Oregon, does things a little differently.
It’s what has made them the top-ranked store for CMNH donations in the United States for the past five years. And it’s what has helped the Portland metro area raise more than $10 million for Doernbecher since 1995.
Why it matters
Each May, Costco warehouses in the U.S. and Canada participate in a month-long campaign to raise funds for their local CMN hospital. In the Portland and southwest Washington area, that’s Doernbecher. In the checkout lines, Costco cashiers ask members if they would like to make a donation to support Doernbecher. Members may also contribute through self-checkout registers, food court monitors and on Costco’s website.
Junior Reyes, front-end manager at the Tigard Costco, has been in charge of the CMNH program for the last decade. He believes the secret of the store’s success is how much their employees and members care about their community and maintain the utmost respect for the work being done at Doernbecher to help kids heal.
“It’s a huge deal for us to support such an amazing place. But we do it because it’s the right thing to do.”Junior Reyes, front-end manager at the Tigard Costco
“You can’t predict if your kid is going to get sick or in an accident. And there are a lot of people who are worse off than we are,” Reyes said. “It’s a huge deal for us to support such an amazing place. But we do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
A competitive spirit doesn’t hurt, either. Each year, Reyes and the Tigard team try and best what they did previously; in 2021, they raised about $157,000. This year, they’re aiming for $200,000 or higher. The competition is a friendly one, Reyes insists, because that’s what helps Doernbecher.
“We couldn’t have hit $10 million without other Portland warehouses helping out,” he said.
At the register, the cashiers jokingly pit themselves against each other — but it results in big gains. Some cashiers rack up about $13,000 each for Doernbecher each May. Cashiers don’t suggest how much to give; rather, they simply ask the member checking out if they would like to support Doernbecher. The amounts vary, he says; some give $1, or $5, or even $500.
Plans for Tigard Costco’s May efforts begin in early February. Reyes leads an employee meeting to discuss the CMNH program, goals, and the fundraising activities to happen throughout the month. Those include a barbeque for employees, at which the warehouse supplies food and all money raised from food purchases there goes to Doernbecher; a craft fair, with employee-made items sold to benefit Doernbecher; and a silent auction that lasts throughout the whole month, during which employees bid on goodies including gift certificates for local restaurants and hotels — all to support Doernbecher.
Generosity to and commitment toward Doernbecher and CMNH are embedded in the Costco culture for employees and members alike, he says.
“No one will give if you never ask,” Reyes said. “We are so thankful our members and employees are so giving.”