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Our Philanthropy

A Purpose-driven Fraternity – Membership with a Meaningful Impact

The fraternity established Shriners Children's as its official philanthropy in 1922 and continues to support it today. It is now one of the largest pediatric sub-specialty healthcare systems in the world, with locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In addition, the healthcare system holds hundreds of outreach clinics annually, with medical staff members routinely traveling to places around the world to provide pediatric medical care. The staff of Shriners Children’s is dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research and offering outstanding educational programs for medical professionals.

More Than Just a Membership – Building a Legacy

Shriners International members, their families and partner organizations are committed to improving the lives of children throughout the world. Through fundraising, volunteering, education, awareness campaigns, board leadership and more, the impact of the fraternity and supporters, help Shriners Children's provide the most amazing care anywhere. 

Serving on Shriners Hospitals Boards

Shriner leadership

An exclusive benefit as a Shriner is the opportunity to serve in several meaningful and mission critical roles in support of the healthcare system. Shriners are elected by the fraternity’s membership to strategically guide the healthcare system’s direction through serving on Shriners Children’s Board of Directors, Shriners Children’s Board of Trustees and at a local level as officers on each location's Board of Governors.

Women Impacting Care

Women Impacting Care, chaired by Shriners International’s First Lady JoLynn Dickins, is a thoughtful group of women donors, supporters and advocates who have bonded together to help highlight services and programs of Shriners Children’s. The First Lady’s fundraising program, Believe in Tomorrow, focuses on the healthcare system’s efforts to help teenage patients with life-long conditions transition to adulthood.

Learn more

Patient Transportation

patient loading up to transport vehicle

Each Shrine Center has a special unit of transporters called the Road Runners. For each trip, they pick up a local child and their family, drive them to a Shriners Children's location for treatment, and then return with them back home. The transportation is at no cost to the child’s family, but the Road Runners say they are paid with smiles from children and families. The Patient Transportation Handbook (updated version coming soon) is a resource developed for our Shriners and outlines recommendations on a variety of topics.

Hospital Volunteers


Members have many unique volunteer opportunities at a local hospital level that are often reserved exclusively for Shriners including serving as tour guides and other meaningful roles at Shriners Children's. These opportunities offer a first-hand experience of the philanthropy we Shriners support.

An exclusive benefit as a Shriner is the opportunity to serve in several meaningful and mission-critical roles in support of Shriners Children's. Shriners are elected by the fraternity’s membership to strategically guide the healthcare system’s direction through serving on Shriners Children’s Board of Directors, Board of Trustees and at a local level, as officers on each facility's Board of Governors.

Members have other unique volunteer opportunities and are frequently seen throughout the grounds of our hospitals and outpatient facilities and at events, generously donating their time in a multitude of ways, including serving as tour guides, entertaining patients, and transporting patients to the hospitals and clinics. Our members and their families also engage in significant fundraising efforts, hosting a variety of events including golf tournaments, football games, motorcycle rides, fishing tournaments, dinner parties and dances.

Thanks to the determination, dedication and hard work of millions of Shriners and supporters over the years, the two organizations have left a lasting impact on humanity. Since opening the first Shriners Children’s location, the healthcare system has improved the lives of more than 1.4 million children. And with the help of new generations who share this passion for helping others, the organizations will continue making a difference for decades to come.

Meet International Patient Ambassadors Gianna and Juan Diego

No Boundaries: Gianna's Story

Gianna, 15, was born with a rare condition called proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which caused her to be missing part of her left femur. Her parents knew they had to find the right specialized care for their daughter, and were grateful to learn that the orthopedic team at Shriners Children’s Southern California had the expertise to treat PFFD.
View Transcript


We were excited to find out what we were going to have for their second child, and the doctor quickly identified that she was going to be a girl, and then he started to continue to take some measurements and a few minutes later he came out and said, "I think I'm noticing something here." And it was first of all that she was missing a bone in her lower leg. He also noticed that the upper bone in her thigh or her thigh-bone was bowed and not as long as the right leg.

Robert H. Cho, MD:

In Gianna's case, she had a leg that was essentially nonfunctional below the knee, and although she could have been able to do some things with that nonfunctional leg, she would not be able to do as much as if she got an amputation and was fitted with a prosthesis. And so that type of decision isn't taken lightly, but we are fortunate that we take care of so many kids with this condition.


It was very scary, very unexpected. You go in to find the sex of your baby and you find out we have other issues that we need to address. He called it proximal fibular focal deficiency.


Fortunately, our OB-GYN, her husband was an orthopedist and he was actually friends with the Chief of Staff at Shriners in Los Angeles. And so very quickly he had us on the phone with an orthopedic just explaining to us what condition this was, what type of life we could expect.


She was born and she was perfect, and it was so calm and peaceful in that moment, and I thank having Sophia already and her having a big sister life just, okay, let's go.

She was about three months old. We had our first visit at a clinic at Shriners, and the beauty of it is we could see another kid that was maybe a year old and we can see a three-year-old and we can see a five-year-old and seven and nine. We see these other kids that are there and they're smiling and they're laughing and they're with their families, and I can visualize what my child was going to be and how she was going to be. That was why we chose Shriners. We knew it wasn't just a surgery that was going to be completed and we were on our own. We had a community. There was physical therapists. There were people to help us with services in our community. It was the doctors, it was the processes. It was a community of people and families that we knew that this was the place that we could be with her for long term.


I remember just driving up to Shriners and always going through those doors and feeling so welcome and the people there were just so patient with me and so open to trying to give me the best possible leg and I know as a child, I've been difficult in some way, in some scenarios, and they've just always made me feel worthy of being there and feel like I could do anything.


Gianna was always pushing the boundaries, always pushing how far she can climb up a tree, how fast she can go. She just would always push herself to keep up with her sister, keep up with the kids in the neighborhood, and go, go, go, go, go.


So with my sister, she was always doing sports and being active in our community, so I always looked up to her and I always wanted to be just like her, and so I went out and tried sports. I played soccer, softball, I did fencing for a little bit. I did tennis when I was younger, I did swimming. So whatever activity she would do, I would want to try too.


I think we have a special bond because I am not just like a protector because of her leg, but just as an older sister and especially now, I think our relationship has grown a lot as we've gotten older and more mature.


I think what makes me most proud of her is just how she's grown up, how she perseveres, how she gets up every day and gets out of bed, puts on her leg. I have to understand that it's, no day easy for her, but she always has a great attitude about just getting up and going.


When I think about the legacy I leave behind, I want to be a person that people look towards for encouragement and inspiration. I want to be the person that shows strength and vulnerability and honesty. I want to show kids just like me that the limits are endless and they could do whatever they want and just you have to be active and you have to go and try.

No Boundaries: Juan Diego's Story

Juan Diego, 18, was burned in an electrical accident when he was 13, leaving his hands seriously disfigured. He spent more than a month in the hospital in Honduras. When he returned home, he was completely dependent on others for even the most basic tasks. He could not take care of himself, go to school, or draw or play music, two of his passions.
View Transcript

Speaker 1:

I'm Juan Diego. Welcome to Tegucigalpa, my hometown located in Honduras. This is a place where I was born and raised, pretty much like any other normal kid.

Speaker 2:

Juan Diego [foreign language 00:00:20].

Speaker 3:

My memories are like of him being my best friend. I always wanted to play with him in my team and all that, and I will always defend him. And yes, because I'm the older brother and I was very protective about him since little.

Speaker 4:

[foreign language 00:01:28].

Speaker 1:

When I was 13, my mom decided to move to a new apartment, which was on a third floor facing the street under construction. So since it was under construction, the apartment wasn't totally finished. There was a window without the glass facing the street at the same height of the light post with some high voltages wires in front of it.

Speaker 2:

[foreign language 00:02:02].

Speaker 1:

Faster than blink of an eye, I just felt like all the charge, all the electricity, literally going through my body. So it was so fast, you don't have time to react to it. My heart starts rushing really fast to the point that you feel that your heart is going to explode, and suddenly all the lights turn off and you just kind of feel like in this lonely cave all by herself, because I was able to hear my mother scream because of her worry.

So suddenly, I just woke up really scared because one of the neighbor was giving me CPR so I could react. I just saw five peoples around me and they were like, "Are you okay? Are you okay?" They gave me a cup of water and suddenly I was trying to stand up, but I couldn't. And obviously they didn't let me. So why I can stand up and I just felt like as if I didn't have no arms because I wasn't able to move it. And that's when I realized and I look around me and I just saw all of my hands burn.

Speaker 2:

[foreign language 00:04:00].

Speaker 4:

Shriners Hospital. [foreign language 00:05:18].

Speaker 1:

I remember going to my first appointment and they were just really nice and careful with me taking my bandages off. They understand because at the time I haven't seen my hands. My parents just told me, "They have to make some amputations in your fingers." But I have never looked at my hands.

Speaker 2:

[foreign language 00:06:10] in Shriners Boston.

Speaker 3:

Juan Diego is like light in the darkness. Doesn't matter where he is. Okay, he always shines. He always bring the best out of everyone and that's why I think he is a great leader. There's this phrase that now we say in our family that the biggest battles are given to God's biggest warriors and well, that's the battle that was given to Juan Diego.

Connect with Shriners Children's

Help Support Our Pediatric Care

Through our generous donors we have been able to help more than 1.5 million children reach their potential and lead more fulfilling lives, regardless of a family's ability to pay.

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Refer a Patient

Shriners Children's is here to help! Our healthcare system offers care for a wide range of pediatric specialties.

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The Most Amazing Care Anywhere

Shriners Children's has a mission to provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs.

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Join Shriners International

Take the first step in joining our global community of brothers.