Mitzvot from the heart: Megan Present, Congregation Shaare Emeth

For her mitzvah project, Megan, daughter of Barbie and Ron Present of Frontenac, decided to hold several brownie bake sales to raise enough money to buy at least one iPad for the kids in the hospital.

Megan, a member of the Ranken Jordan Junior Board, met with CEO Lauri Tanner, to find out how she could help the kids in the hospital. She learned firsthand the older children really needed something to keep them distracted when undergoing treatments and services. The perfect item would be an iPad.

For her mitzvah project, Megan, daughter of Barbie and Ron Present of Frontenac, decided to hold several brownie bake sales to raise enough money to buy at least one iPad. She thought getting her family and friends involved would make the project much more fun.

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Her grandfather, Harvey Present, was able to coordinate a donation of the 200 brownie tins for the sale. Ranken Jordan donated logo stickers for the top of the tins, which made them look “incredibly professional.” And Megan’s grandmother and grandfather, Barbara Barenholtz and Milton Hieken, helped adhere the stickers and added powdered sugar to the brownies.

Brown Smith Wallace and the Ranken Jordan Golf Outing supported the sale by buying over 110 tins. Nancy Dorr and her brother Chris Dorr, who own Paddy O’s restaurant downtown, set up a bake sale during a Cardinal’s game that helped sell the remaining tins. As a result, Megan was able to buy not one iPad, but four.  Although there were some donations in addition to the brownie sale, Megan raised over $1,700, which is equivalent to selling over 1,200 brownies.

A student at Ladue Middle School, Megan wanted to present the iPads directly to the kids so she could see the reaction in their faces. “When I gave the iPads to the kids and saw their joy, I knew I made a difference, which was life changing for me,” said Megan.

A pediatric specialty hospital, Ranken Jordan provides a continuum of care for the medically complicated children and their families, The Ranken Jordan Junior Board is a volunteer, fundraising group made up of kids ages 18 and under. They work with patients to help create fun, diverse events for people of all abilities.