We Won!

I say WE won – because this was an amazing community effort. Over the course of the Credit Unions For Kids 3 week Vote For Miracles contest, I have to admit, I cried many times.

I teared up every time I interviewed a child, fighting cancer, tired, but with a smile on his or her face.

I teared up meeting moms of sick children who show the world strength, hope and a positive attitude. Some of these moms work, manage to bring their children to the hospital for chemo several days of the week and still insist on helping us get votes.

I teared up during our first Glow for Miracles, where families came to the hospital, with glow sticks in hand, to wave support from outside to the windows of the pediatrics department, where children are spending the holidays, healing.

I teared up seeing the posts, retweets and shares from people all over the 15 counties we serve. One beautiful NICU tribute reached more than 168,000 people world wide.

This experience wasn’t about coming in first. It was about witnessing a true community experience. People understand what is happening here. We have a top notch hospital, with doctors performing miracles – in a city that is plagued by poverty, crime and even a problem with a basic necessity like water.

As a city owned hospital, we spend every penny we make on doctors and equipment to heal children. But there is so much more we can do with donations. We can have Child Life specialists to help children be brave and understand the procedures they are going through. We can have art and music therapy to help them pass the time in the hours they are alone in their hospital rooms. Those same therapies, while fun, also help children recover faster, getting them home sooner. We can provide games, ipads, coloring books and dvd players to make the hospital feel more like home. We can buy a Vecta machine that allows children on the autism spectrum to control their own environment through special lights and sounds. We can build private rooms so children can be with their families during treatments and sleep in silence without strangers sharing a space with them. We can open a special treatment room so victims of abuse can have a safe, private place to be examined so they are not traumatized over again.

People understand this. They understand Hurley is a special place where miracles do happen. They want to be a part of it.

I saw over the past three weeks how invested this community became in doing something to help our children. No one was saying, I hope Hurley wins. They said, I hope WE win. They voted daily, even though they were busy with work and the holidays and their own families.  They recruited family and friends to become part of this effort, this team.

$50,000 is crucial for a hospital like Hurley. Local dentist, Dr. Alan Klein, and his Sheppy Dog Fund added $20,000 as a incentive for people to vote. In 3 weeks people not only thought about their own kids, they thought about OUR kids 240,425 times. They not only thought about OUR kids 240,425 times, they took action to help them. That makes me cry. Cry tears of joy.

Vote For Miracles was an amazing experience. We got needed money to help our children. We witnessed an entire community come together to make sure miracles continue to happen here.  Yes, WE won! We won in so many beautiful ways. Thank-you.

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