Spotlight on World Pediatric Project posted 06/27/16

By Erin Willmann

With offices in St. Louis and Richmond, World Pediatric Project has been doing BIG things to fulfill their mission to heal critically ill children and build healthcare capacity in the world. 90% of the world has access to only 10% of the world’s medical resources. World Pediatric Project exists to bridge this gap for children who need life-saving care that isn’t accessible where they live due to lack of resources, pediatric expertise, training or medical equipment. Melissa Hollabaugh, Director of Annual Campaign for the St. Louis office graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the organization and how young professionals are getting involved.

What is the biggest contribute that your Young Professionals Board makes to your organization?

We seek young professionals primarily to serve on our Rock ‘n’ Heal Event Committee, which is a committee to promote, plan and execute our annual Rock ‘n’ Heal party every May. The goals of this event are trifold: engage young professionals in philanthropy, promote local businesses who are giving back, and raise critical funds and awareness for World Pediatric Project’s life-saving mission.

The Committee is responsible for securing sponsorships, auction items, donations, and selling event tickets and raffle tickets. They also help raise awareness and make introductions to new volunteers, donors, and community partners.

What are some skills that your volunteers learn or practice?

Young professionals are the key to the future of our organization. Not only do we provide opportunities for young adults in the St. Louis community to become active in our mission by volunteering directly with the children and families we serve, but we also provide opportunities for networking, personal and professional development, and fundraising/event planning through our Rock ‘n’ Heal Event Committee. We also have a ton of FUN! We always provide drinks and snacks, meet at cool places, and attract really interesting and successful young professionals who are determined to make a difference and have fun at at the same time.

What have been some challenges?

We just celebrated our 2nd Annual Rock ‘n’ Heal, which was an incredible success. In just our second year, the committee, sponsorships, attendees and overall funds MORE than doubled! We were blown away by the hard work of the committee, the buzz about the event in the St. Louis community, and the generosity of the nearly 750 attendees.

A few challenges we have faced in building up our young professional committee include how to structure the Rock ‘n’ Heal Event Committee, timing and frequency of committee meetings, and setting expectations when young professionals join the committee. We have had some growing pains, but each year we learn and build on the past, considering ways to innovate, streamline and strategize to create not only the most fun young professional event in St. Louis, but also to have the greatest impact for the kids we endeavor to heal.

Want to get involved with The World Pediatric Project?

Sound like fun? Want to get involved or pick my brain or share ideas? Please reach out! You can email Melissa at or call 314-324- 7841. To learn more about World Pediatric Project, click here.

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