The Edward A. Block Family Library occupies, in part, the original 1920′s lobby of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Among several historical artifacts that reside within “the Old Lobby” is what is colloquially known as the Donor Cabinet. We are very pleased to have this great artifact among the others that reside in the Library.
The Donor Cabinet is an ornate walnut cabinet filled with four vintage metal file cabinets that are filled with approximately 45,000 index cards that chronicle the original donations to the Riley Memorial Association (now Riley Children’s Foundation) that were made by one out of every five Hoosiers during the 1920’s to support the creation of the hospital. The cabinet also contains records of subsequent donations though the early 1950’s. It also includes the record made by Indiana school children who raised $17,008.42 for Riley – the first of several similar efforts by children over the last 90 years aimed at helping their peers and this hospital.
Placed on the Donor Cabinet’s two doors are two brass plaques that are inscribed – (Left side) “Herein is Perpetuated the Record of the Gifts Which Made Possible This Hospital”, and (Right side) “That Remembrance of Those Whose Generously Provided for Childhood the Service of Physician and Surgeon May Endure.”
The Donor Cabinet reminds us all daily of the long and storied history that this hospital has, and the truly great and very generous community support that it has always received from Hoosiers throughout the State of Indiana.
Donations remain a critical source of funding for Riley Hospital for Children today, and are used to support important programs such as Child Life, social work and pediatric research. To learn how you can support Riley, visit the Riley Children’s Foundation website by clicking here.