Explaining That Record-Breaking Gift to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Last week, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles announced a new record: It had received its largest corporate gift in history, $10 million from Costco Wholesale. Big doings. To honor and acknowledge the gift, the hospital has pledged to rename the second floor of its Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion the Costco Wholesale Floor.

We’ll ignore how weird it is to associate the words “hospital” and “wholesale,” and just focus on the gift.

You might say they have a history together. Since 1983, Costco Wholesale has donated more than $16 million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. They’re the biggest corporate donor. Considering the chain’s connection to the area (the first Costco opened in San Diego in 1976), it makes a good bit of sense that Costco would be a big donor for CHLA; saving children’s lives is something any altruistically minded corporation would do well to get involved with.

And CHLA is something of a jewel in Costco’s crown. Apart from the large gifts the wholesaler has made to CHLA over the past three decades, most of the rest of its philanthropy is in the form of goods and services, not cold, hard cash. They donate to Backpacks for Kids every year, doling out school supplies to needy children at selected schools around California. They give to the Red Cross and the United Way, even organizing a campaign to benefit United Way every October. But even so, nothing quite says corporate responsibility like giving to a children’s hospital.

This makes the second big gift of the year for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Back in March, it received $5 million plus a $3.5 matching pledge from the Petersen Foundation to establish a new center for inpatient rehabilitation. And now this record-shattering gift.

"Costco Wholesale has been a significant partner in our mission to create hope and build healthier futures for the children of Southern California,” says Richard D. Cordova, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Costco’s generous gift will directly impact our ability to provide world-class pediatric care, conduct ground-breaking medical research and train the next generation of clinicians. It takes all of these things working together to provide the life-giving and life-saving programs that help the 104,000 children we treat annually at the hospital.”