'You Can't Put a Value on Helping Others': The 'Barber of Children's Mercy' and his wife, John & Roxanne LeGrotte make a gift to the Foundation
John LeGrotte started volunteering at Children's Mercy five years ago. He wasn't sure if his offer to provide free haircuts would be accepted, but he's been "The Barber of Children's Mercy" ever since.
"When you hand a mirror to a child and see that smile, it's priceless," John says. "I'm proud to be a volunteer and help the children in some small way."
As he walks the halls of the hospitals, John marvels at the compassion and professionalism of the staff. He finds it touching that no child in need of care is ever turned away, regardless of their family's financial situation.
"The Foundation makes that generosity possible, and my wife Roxanne and I wanted to help."
Initially, the LeGrottes were going to make a gift from John's IRA to the general endowment of Children's Mercy upon their deaths. After further consideration, they decided to make a planned gift now rather than wait.
"We feel so uplifted and joyful to be able to do this, and the need is great with the economy still so shaky. Roxanne and I have been blessed by God with a good life, and we believe we should share our good fortune with others."
Roxanne, a 27-year cancer survivor, believes in paying it forward.
"I was fortunate enough to be able to pay for my treatment, but I met many people who couldn't. The generosity of others helped them get the care they needed. John and I are happy to support the good work of Children's Mercy."
John will continue in his role as "The Barber of Children's Mercy," and says sometimes he even gives the children's parents haircuts.
"They're spending so much time at the hospital they can't make time for a haircut, so I'll offer to do it," he explains. "These children and families are so brave. They're heroes in my eyes.
"When you lay your head on the pillow at night, it feels good to know you've helped out."