Benefitfocus CEO Shawn Jenkins holds up a birthday gift from Abigail Lee, 4, who recently finished her last round of chemotherapy.
Typically a birthday involves presents, perhaps lots of them. Although that was certainly the case July 27, in the seventh floor atrium of the Children’s Hospital, there was nothing typical about the birthday bash held for Shawn Jenkins, the Charleston businessman who recently donated $25 million to MUSC’s new Children’s Hospital, now named in his honor. For starters, rather than receive presents, Jenkins used the occasion to give them — more than 2,300 toys donated by his company, Benefitfocus.
Jenkins credits his daughter, Olivia, with the idea. “I was talking with my daughter, who volunteers here at the Children’s Hospital,” he said. “She was telling me how a lot of presents usually come in around the holiday season, but during the summer there aren’t as many. So, we sent an email out to all the Benefitfocus associates around the country and around the world asking them to donate toys. That was just two weeks ago, but the response was overwhelming. It was just a spur–of–the–moment idea, but here we are.”
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