During their 35 years of marriage, Patrice and Irv Rubin have donated to a wide variety of causes. But a few years ago, they decided to take stock of the charities they supported. As Patrice puts it, “We asked ourselves, ‘Where do our interests really lie?’”
For this couple who introduce their two dogs, Bailey and Duffy, and their cat, Danny, as “our boys,” one answer was obvious: animals. They felt strongly about two other categories: children and healthcare.
They also resolved to focus their efforts locally. When it came to animal welfare, that meant switching their support from a statewide organization to the SPCA of Bucks County, where they live. “So next we said, ‘How about a local hospital for kids?’” Irv recalls. They began exploring the idea of giving to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia — and it has taken them down a path that makes them both light up when they talk about it.
As they began donating to CHOP and talking to staff members, “We kept meeting people who were so like-minded,” says Patrice. After attending an event for the Founders Society, they wanted to discover more about CHOP’s many programs. “We became interested in exactly where our money was going,” says Irv. They learned about the amazing research happening at CHOP. They discussed the Hospital’s work with friends. And they thought about people they knew whose children have been cared for at CHOP, such as clients at the insurance company in Doylestown that Irv owns. “The more people we talk to about CHOP, the more personal our relationship with the Hospital feels,” he says.
Early on in these conversations, they made a wonderful discovery: CHOP has a Pet Therapy Program. Their interests in animals, children and healthcare lived together in one place. Program coordinator Lisa Serad invited the Rubins to join her as she and her dog, Rumor, visited patients. “It’s magical to see the smiles from everybody when the dogs show up,” says Patrice.
Just as their relationship with CHOP was flourishing, Patrice and Irv were grappling with another question: “As we got older, we began to think about what would happen to our money,” says Irv. “We wanted to put things in order.”
Previously, not knowing where to leave their money was troubling. But now, they had found a place where they “felt at home,” as Patrice describes it, so settling on a plan became easy: They would split their estate between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia’s Gerald B. Schrieber Pet Therapy Program and the Bucks County SPCA.
“We have no doubts or questions about our decision,” Irv says matter-of-factly. And they’re looking forward to staying involved: “I’m excited,” says Patrice, “about our future relationship with CHOP.”