You can play a significant role in this life-changing process. Since its humble beginnings more than 125 years ago, Mary Free Bed has relied on continued philanthropic investments from individuals and families, corporations and foundations. When you donate to the Mary Free Bed Foundation, you help to restore hope and freedom to children and adults in your community and beyond.

Gifts to the foundation are directed solely to the hospital and its services.

Following is a partial list of programs and services that depend on your gifts. For additional funding opportunities, please contact the Mary Free Bed Foundation at 616.840.8137 or

COVID-19 Relief Fund

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Many of you have reached out to ask how you can help Mary Free Bed. We’ve established a COVID-19 Relief Fund dedicated to supporting Mary Free Bed’s efforts and staff during this crisis. Funds will be used to purchase additional supplies and equipment necessary for care, as well as help with specific needs of our employees and patients. Some supplies necessary for our work could run low, and donations can help cover those additional costs.

Mary’s Mission

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We have the great privilege of helping patients and families re-build their lives by providing comprehensive, expert care for children and adults recovering from serious injury or illness. Miraculous things happen when specialized physicians, devoted therapists and dedicated nurses connect with patients determined to create better futures.

Your generosity provides vital financial support for programs, services and state-of-the-art equipment and technology that helps us restore independence to thousands of people.

Full Peds Ahead, an Initiative for Kids at Mary Free Bed

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Building on the strong outcomes of our Pediatric Inpatient and Outpatient programs, Mary Free Bed is expanding access and models of care for our youngest patients. This includes a new research-based intervention strategy and therapy program that improves function and independence for children with autism. We also are growing our cerebral palsy and pediatric pain programs to help address some of the most prevalent disorders and conditions that affect so many children.

Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports

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Playing adaptive sports allows adults and children with disabilities the opportunity to share in the camaraderie and competition that playing sports provides. An essential element of Mary Free Bed’s continuum of care, the Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports program serves more than 1,200 adults and children annually through competitive teams, clinics, classes and events.

Our Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports program is one of the largest of its kind in the country. We organize and coach 15 competitive sports teams, host 13 recreational clinics, offer six instructional classes, run six competitive tournaments and provide five special events each year.

Each provides a fun opportunity to exercise, make new friends, develop social and teamwork skills, and increase confidence. Our sports teams are open to anyone with a permanent physical disability that limits participation in able-bodied sports, while our clinics provide a more relaxed experience for people with cognitive or physical impairments.

Adaptive sports equipment is expensive, and the cost for uniforms, transportation and tournament fees for travel-team athletes can be a barrier to participation. We’re thankful to the generous individuals, businesses and foundations who provide 95 percent of the funding for Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports and are appreciative of your continued support.

Patient Assistance Fund

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The Patient Assistance Fund provides a valuable resource for patients who need adaptive equipment, ramps for home accessibility, extended services, caregiver training, travel arrangements, interpretation services and to meet transitional financial emergencies due to limited insurance coverage or financial means. Gifts directed to this fund allow us to provide charitable care so all patients can achieve the best possible outcome.

Betty Bloomer Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program

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Intense rehabilitation before, during and after treatment for cancer has been shown to lead to faster and better patient outcomes. The Betty Bloom Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program focuses on helping people optimize their functionality, well-being and quality of life throughout their survivorship journey.

Our team of specialists helps patients manage cancer’s impact and its treatment with a personalized plan of care that includes education, exercises, therapeutic techniques and other resources for living as fully as possible. Our team implements the latest evidence-based clinical strategies and engages in cutting-edge clinical research to provide the most comprehensive rehabilitation services available.

Mary Free Bed has the opportunity to lead the nation with rehabilitation innovation that dramatically improves quality of life for millions of cancer survivors. Thank you for considering support of this vital program.

Therapeutic Healing Gardens Project

Therapeutic garden spaces nurture an atmosphere of healing in body, mind and spirit. More than just pretty landscaping, our Therapeutic Healing Gardens project includes six outdoor spaces throughout Mary Free Bed’s Grand Rapids campus.

The spaces are either newly created or vastly improved with plants, paths and tranquil spaces. Each element is chosen to positively impact the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients and their family and friends. Some gardens include areas for patient therapy. All of them provide a place to reconnect with the healing power of nature.

A summary of available garden spaces is available from the Foundation. Please call 616.840.8137, or email