(Left to right) Jeffrey, Chloe, Emily, Katie, Dennis, Julie, Michael and Ali Anderson

Why we give: Anderson Family

December 18, 2020

Dennis and Julie Anderson have helped build a culture of giving back in both the Sioux Falls community and in their own home.

By volunteering their time on nonprofit boards and committees and supporting causes close to their hearts with monetary donations, Dennis and Julie lead by example, inspiring sons, Jeffrey and Michael Anderson, to start their own legacy of philanthropy.

“We believe it’s important to support our community,” Dennis said. “It’s very rewarding to be able to give back, and we feel very fortunate to be able to do so,” Julie added.

Dennis and Julie are especially passionate about children’s health, having supported the Sanford Children’s Hospital, multigenerational hospice at Ava’s House and, most recently, Sanford’s tiniest patients through the Sweet Dreams campaign.

Jeffrey and his wife, Dr. Katie Anderson, and Michael and his wife, Ali Anderson, are carrying on that torch.

“In order to create a vibrant community, you have to participate,” Jeffrey said. “Our parents lead by example and show us that commitment to a cause means not just giving your time but financially as well.”

Both couples have joined their parents in generously donating to the Sweet Dreams campaign. Their gifts will help upgrade lifesaving equipment and technology, including Giraffe OmniBeds, in the Sanford Boekelheide NICU and The Birth Place.

As a neonatologist at Sanford, Katie knows firsthand why Giraffe OmniBeds are a critical need for the NICU. Designed to mimic a mother’s womb, the Giraffe OmniBed surrounds critically ill and premature babies in a carefully controlled environment optimal for growth.

“I feel really lucky knowing that when a baby comes into our NICU, I have the equipment needed to give them the best care,” Katie said. “Every baby just gets everything they need without question or thought. It takes a lot of stress off the families to not have to worry if their baby will get the best care possible.”

The family’s commitment to the cause was strengthened by some unexpected news for Michael and Ali. The couple learned they were pregnant with twins earlier this year. While naturally surprised and excited, the family knew the twins would be at higher risk of being born early and requiring care in the NICU.

“When you realize you are going to be a parent and then that your children could need medical assistance when they are born, you want to do everything you can to make sure they receive the care they need,” Michael said.

While they hope their babies won’t ever see the inside of the NICU when they are born next year, having the best care available close to home has been a relief for the expectant parents.

“We feel so lucky to live in Sioux Falls where the best care is so readily available,” said Ali, who also has close ties to Sanford working in finance at the Foundation. “We hope our boys never have to spend time in the NICU, but being in this position also showed us that helping families who do have this experience is the right thing to do.”


Give Sweet Dreams

As you give thanks for all the blessings in your own life this holiday season, please consider also giving more families strength and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

In addition to Giraffe OmniBeds, your gift will also support Panda Warmers, which help babies born at Sanford transition after birth, and a NICVIEW camera system that will allow families to virtually visit their baby in the NICU anytime, anywhere.

To support Sweet Dreams or another cause close to your heart, visit sanfordhealthfoundation.org/holidays or contact a member of our team: