Billionaire Warren Buffett is arguably the most famous philanthropist of his day, but his sister Roberta Elliott recently demonstrated herself no slouch in the charitable giving department, with Time reporting a gift surpassing $100 million from her to the Montage Health Foundation and its Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, California.
The gift is specifically for the establishment of what will be called Ohana House, a structure for both inpatient treatment with an "innovative approach to child and adolescent behavioral health" as well as family counseling and other outpatient programs. Ohana, as you know if you saw Lilo and Stitch, means "family" in Hawaiian, a point clarified by Montage's press statement about the project. Also in the statement is Elliott's inspiration for the donation – her grandfather Ernest Buffett:
"'He was really important to me,' said Bertie, 84, of Carmel. 'I always looked to him for affirmation. I felt loved by him, and that's a gift.'"
"And so it is that, for as long as Bertie can remember, family and community have always seemed to not only go together, but to be the most important things in this life. It was in that spirit that in December she donated $105.8 million to Montage Health Foundation to transform mental healthcare for children and adolescents."
In addition to construction of the Ohana House, a "significant portion" of Elliott's $105.8 million gift will be placed in an endowment, in order to keep the Ohana initiative funded well into the future. Steven Packer, MD is the president and CEO of Montage Health, and he seems to have a sunny view of what the money will be able to do:
"Our goal is to use Bertie's gift to develop a program that can be emulated by others throughout the nation. We consider this an investment in the future of countless children and families, and we are committed to being the best stewards possible. We have always been committed not only to innovation, but to doing the right thing. This is the right thing. We are ready to go."
Completion of the Ohana program is supposed to take around five years.