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The mission of Children’s Miracle Network and you

  • Erin Black

January 2021

No doubt you’ve seen the paper balloons covering the walls of businesses large and small around town each year about this time. But perhaps you were busy — on your way to pick up the kids up from soccer or get the car into the shop — and didn’t have time to give those little yellow balloons a second thought.

But you should.

They represent Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®, a nationwide (and Canada!) grassroots effort to raise money for local children treated by their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. And in Central Washington, that’s Yakima Valley Memorial. (There are only two other CMN hospitals in our state: Seattle Children’s Hospital and Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane.)

More than 10 million kids enter a children’s hospital like Yakima Valley Memorial across North America every year. In fact, 62 children enter a CMN hospital every minute for life-saving treatment. Today, Children’s Miracle Network has raised more than $5 billion — most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon program.

Coordinated through The Memorial Foundation, many businesses in our community step up each year to raise money for children right here in Central Washington. Whether it’s IHOP’s Pancake Day, local school’s YouthWorks Mr. Pageants, Ace Hardware’s Round up campaign, The CMN Radiothon or Golf to Give at Apple Tree Golf Course, fund-raising efforts continue throughout the year.

So, where do your donations go?

To Yakima Valley Memorial’s Pediatric Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Family Birthplace and to Children’s Village.

  • Memorial’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the only place in Central that offers specialty care for at-risk infants (we treat babies from Kittitas County down through Prosser). The 15-bed, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit treats more than 485 babies per year (15% of the babies born at Virginia Mason Memorial).
  • The Pediatrics Department treats children and youth 17 and under for a variety of health concerns while providing support to their families. Last year the department cared for 1,300 patients.
  • Family Birthplace – since opening, there have been over 140,000 births, averaging 2,500 births per year.
  • Children’s Village, a regional integrated center for children with special health-care needs and their families, with multiple service providers all under one roof. The comprehensive family-centered organization aims to meet each child’s need for individualized care with over 35 kinds of specialized services. There are medical specialty clinics, developmental evaluations and collaborative diagnostic clinics, dental services, occupational, physical and speech therapy, mental health counseling, education services, behavioral intervention and nurse home-visiting programs. The village also offers a comprehensive parent and family support program called Parent to Parent.

What can you do to help? Buy a Blizzard at DQ on Miracle Treat Day, Round up at Walmart, Costco, and Ace, on Sept. 17 get out your clubs for the Golf to Give event at Apple Tree Golf Course or in October, listen to our CMN Radiothon on NewsTalk 1280 AM KIT and 929. FM The Bull.

Memorial has long served the needs of babies and children in Central Washington. The hospital’s doors opened on June 20, 1950, and the first baby was born there the next day. When we contribute to the local Children’s Miracle Network campaign, we help ourselves, ensuring a healthier future for our community.

* Erin Black is chief executive officer of The Memorial Foundation, an independent nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that is the philanthropic partner of Yakima Valley Memorial hospital.