Donors wrote checks to foundation set up to help families of hospitalized babies, and they got lost in the mail for months – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) “If you ever doubt that one person can make the world a better place, we’d like you to think of Jackson Chance.

His parents found a way to honor him by raising funds to ease the financial burden on the families. But this story tells how the money meant to help in this effort disappeared – before it mysteriously reappeared years later.

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Jackson Chance would have turned 10 last year. Her eyes are sparkling pools that once you see you can’t forget.

(Family photo)

“Jackson was born on 11/11/11 at 11:11 p.m. so I always say he was as special as his birthday was unique,” said his mother, Carrie Meghie.

Meghie’s life is shaped by that of her son, which was sorely too short. Jackson has spent his entire life – just under 10 months – in neonatal intensive care. This came with expenses that you don’t think about until they happen.

“We were actually blown away by the cost of parking and spent thousands of dollars those first two months to see our son,” she said.

And so their grief inspired their gift.

“We were deciding how we wanted to honor Jackson, and we were like, we want to bring parents and loved ones to these babies when they need it,” Meghie said. “So we decided to start the NICU transportation program where we provide parking passes to families with babies in the NICU that give them 24/7 access, so that every baby can have a loved one with him 24/7.”

the Jackson Chance Foundation helped some 10,000 families at three Chicago-area hospitals — thanks to donors.

“The generosity of the supporters has been extremely impressive,” Meghie said.

For the past two years, this fundraiser has been done by mail and the checks arrive in their box inside a UPS store. There never seemed to be a problem, until last month.

“At the beginning of February, I receive a pile of checks – you know, it’s great! Were excited!” Meghie said. “And then start looking through it, and then we’re like, ‘Wait a minute, that check is from December 2020 — oh, maybe someone wrote the date wrong.'”

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Turns out not, and neither have the writers of nearly 80 other checks, some dating back to 2020 and 2021.

“$111 as of December 2020 – it’s like 14 months ago,” Meghie said.

The checks all suddenly arrived on the same day last month, after sitting who knows where for more than a year in some cases. In total, it was just over $14,000 — and that could have paid for a lot of hospital parking.

“It was shocking to say the least,” Meghie said.

This UPS store told us they had similar complaints about extremely late mail showing up through the US Postal Service. But Meghie’s search for answers with the USPS turned up nothing.

“What happened?” she says. “Where were those checks? are their more checks? »

The foundation reached about half of the donors in the late pile. However, one person has since died. Others have closed these accounts.

And that’s not how Meghie aims to run her charity.

“We value our donors so much, and it was really disappointing for us to think that people thought we weren’t even acknowledging them by sending us their hard-earned money,” she said.

And that money was left somewhere instead of easing the burden on parents who were just trying to be with their babies.

We contacted the Postal Service about these very late checks, and were told that they deliver the mail to the UPS store – and then it is up to the UPS store to deliver the mail to those boxes.

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So where the checks fell through the cracks remains a mystery. The Jackson Chance Foundation hopes this will never happen again.

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