For 14 of her 18 years at Hudson Hospital & Clinic, Jenny Hauser has been the face of welcome at the front entrance. But for Jenny, operating the information desk goes beyond wayfinding and greeting. She calms fears and makes special memories for children who enter. All it takes is a penny, an indoor pond next to the information desk, and a wish.

“When little ones come in for first-time shots or for any appointment, they are scared,” said Jenny. “I ask Mom or Dad if they would like a penny to throw in the pond and make a wish? Even if the kids don't know how to make a wish, looking at the pond and the wonder of it, and along with throwing a penny in, alleviates some of the anxiety for both the child and parent.”

Jenny holds up a Ziploc bag with pennies inside, given to her by a young patient.

One little girl who has been visiting the hospital for years recently returned with a bag of pennies for “Jenny Penny” (as she calls her) to continue her good work. And it’s not the first time kids who have wished upon a penny from Jenny have given back. Jenny says she gets many donations from the parents of little ones who have used the pennies in the pond for wishes.

“I now have children I have been giving pennies to for so long they are now taller than me,” said Jenny. “If one little penny can make it OK for a child to go further on to their appointment or it makes it better when they have a tear coming out of the appointment, that's what it is all about with me.”

Pennies are disinfected before given to kids to use them, even more important now in the age of COVID-19. And those from the pond are eventually collected when the fountain is cleaned and donated to Hudson Hospital Foundation.

“I pretty much have the best job in the building,” Jenny said. “It's hard work, sometimes very sad, but in the end knowing I have helped makes it perfect.” Please select from the foundations listed below to make your gift. Thank you.

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Please select from the foundations listed below to make your gift. Thank you.