Each year, the WakeMed Foundation’s Community Campaign offers an opportunity for the community to support hospital programs and services. We sat down with Brenda Gibson, a long-time philanthropist and leader whose passion and tenacity has impacted so many facets and people of our community for the better, to talk about her life of service and why your support matters this Giving Tuesday and all year long.
Why I Give: “WakeMed is the hospital in this community looking after the people in this community”
You probably know Brenda Gibson. She’s deeply embedded in our community in many ways, from her work in real estate and luxury retail to the countless hours, spanning decades, she’s spent giving back. She’s earned the Women in Business Award from the Triangle Business Journal, the Excellence in Philanthropy Award from the Triangle Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, was given the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Roy Cooper for her service at WakeMed, and the Humanitarian of the Year award by the N.C. Black Women’s Empowerment network, just to name a few. But that’s not what she prefers to discuss. She prefers to discuss the community that she loves and that she wants you to join her in supporting.
“WakeMed is the hospital in this community looking after the people in this community. The mission of WakeMed is so different than any other organization. There is a culture at WakeMed of people wanting to help.”
As a Raleigh native, Brenda knew about WakeMed — “I was a candy striper there in the ’70s!” she remembers — but it wasn’t until the late ’90s that she became passionate about it. “In 1997, my husband had heart bypass surgery at WakeMed … We saw firsthand what a state-of-the-art hospital it is.”
Spurred by that experience, Brenda served as an active member of the WakeMed Foundation Board for 10 years and the WakeMed Board of Directors for 10 years, holding leadership roles in both. When her WakeMed Board term ended in May 2019, she could have considered it a philanthropic career well-spent and hung up her hat. But Brenda says there’s too much good work being done to stop spreading the word:
“WakeMed is doing so many things in the community. We’re making a difference in behavioral health, we’re making a difference in population health, we’re making a difference to people who don’t have insurance. We’re doing a tremendous job with the children’s hospital. We have the only Level I trauma center in Wake County. Our rehab is phenomenal. We provide the majority of charity care in this community.”
Brenda is the current Annual Campaign Chair for the Community Campaign. This Giving Tuesday, she hopes you’ll remember why a gift to the WakeMed Foundation matters.
Make it Personal
One hundred percent of donated dollars go directly to fund innovative programs and services to support patient care in all areas of WakeMed — and you can specify exactly where your dollars go. “We like to find out what our donors’ interests are and strategize with them,” Brenda explains. From NICU support to pet therapy programs, there’s something for everyone.
“We will find the right place at WakeMed for your interests or passions that makes you feel good about giving.”
‘People’s lives are truly changed’
For all of her fundraising and civic endeavors, Brenda says giving financial gifts and volunteer time to WakeMed are still an absolute pleasure. And it’s not about the recognition. “Helping people navigate health care is really what I enjoy. It’s about helping other people — even my family.” In fact, many physicians around WakeMed call her “Dr. Gibson” because she’s so well-versed on the hospital and its myriad services and programs!
“It’s important to give back, and health care is a great place to give. If there’s a program or an initiative you’re interested in, giving is a way to get involved with it. There are so many good stories here, and they just keep coming. People’s lives are truly changed at WakeMed.”
About Brenda Gibson
Brenda Gibson worked for Wachovia and BB&T before joining Highwoods Properties as a commercial real estate broker. Since 2003, she has worked as an independent commercial broker. She also owns Marta’s, a luxury women’s boutique in North Hills; there, she has started Marta’s Matters, a series of events that donates a portion of sales back to local charities. Among her many community involvements, she has been an active member of the WakeMed Foundation Board since 1999, including serving as chair for 4 years. She has also been an active member of the WakeMed Board since 2009, including serving as chair for 4 years.
Brenda is the 2019-2020 WakeMed Foundation Community Campaign Chair.
What is the Community Campaign?
Each year, the WakeMed Foundation’s Community Campaign offers an opportunity for the community — for you — to support hospital programs and services. Foundation board members and volunteers raise donations and sponsorships of every amount from existing and new donors. One hundred percent of donated dollars go directly to fund programs and services to support patient care in all areas of the hospital. Creating healing environments. Providing innovative programs. Investing in skilled and compassionate caregivers. Supporting the urgent needs of our patients and families. Donations make it all possible. Your gift truly helps save and transform lives. Make a gift now.