Children's Miracle Network Hospitals: A Miraculous Story

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals: A Miraculous Story

What was your favorite story as a child? Did it tell of princes and princesses slaying dragons and reaching their happy ending? Was it based on a nursery rhyme from days of old with a hidden lesson inside? Stories are more impressionable on us as children than we may realize, and they steer our ideas even from our youngest days? But what if you had to read your favorite story through a tangle of cords and among the beeps of a heart monitor? Unfortunately, that’s the reality for sick and injured children…and it's their stories that are the most impactful of all.

Just look at the story of Harper, a 2024 Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals champion. At just three years old, she was involved in a lawn mower incident at her home, leaving her with serious injuries to her feet. Little did three-year-old Harper understand the hard road ahead of her, complete with multiple surgeries and partial amputations.

That’s not something most young children would have to experience, but Harper was special. She was in need of more extensive medical treatment than most of us have had over the course of a much longer life. It wasn’t a bright, happy chapter…for Harper or her family.

But with CMN Hospitals on their side, Harper came through the battle. Now, she’s a vivacious young girl with a love for dancing, cheerleading and her Girl Scout troop. Her story is unique, but it’s a story some 12 million children experience each year, and CMN Hospitals is there to help them find the miracles they so desperately seek.

Chapter 1: Meet CMN Hospitals

CMN Hospitals has been around for more than four decades, and, in that time, they’ve been raising much-needed funds for 170 children’s hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Each minute, 72 children enter a CMN Hospital for treatment. Each year, children’s hospitals that comprise the CMN Hospitals network provide 38 million patient visits. Their mission is to change kids’ health in an effort to change the future.

Chapter 2: The Price of Miracles

CMN Hospitals makes miracles happen for children every day. But what does a miracle cost? Well, the average cost of just one hospital stay for a child born with a heart defect is $25,000, and pediatric cancer treatments can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yeah, those are some pretty pricey miracles.

But that’s why we’re here. Credit unions are miracle-makers because of our involvement with a CMN Hospitals affiliate called CU4Kids, the nonprofit organization through which credit unions, chapters, leagues/associations and business partners from across the country work cooperatively to raise money for CMN Hospitals.

Since 1996, CU4Kids has raised approximately $200 million for CMN Hospitals to do all of these amazing things:

  • Provide charitable care to patients.
  • Improve life-saving equipment.
  • Share education with patients, families and communities.
  • Support advancement services for programs and projects.
  • Fund research and treatment.
  • Contribute to patient and family services, such as the Child Life art therapy Harper utilized to express her emotions during her treatment.

Most importantly, the organization – and by association, credit unions like us – plays a role in making miracles for kiddos like Harper.

Chapter 3: Be Part of the Story

As credit unions, we have lots of ways to lend a helping hand for CMN Hospitals and CU4Kids. Here are just of few examples of how to become part of the story:

Join a Fundraiser or Campaign. CMN Hospitals and CU4Kids host tons of annual fundraisers and campaigns that your credit union can be a part of. A few include Extra Life, a gaming marathon fundraiser; Change a Child’s Life coin collection; Miracle Icons; various Radiothons and more.

One particular event that is close to my heart is the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K in Washington, D.C. All proceeds – which have totaled close to $9 million since the event began – goes to CMN Hospitals. And, this year, I’ll be volunteering for the Kid’s Fun Run as part of the event. I truly can’t wait!

Create Your OWN Fundraiser. As another option, you can even come up with your own fundraisers. More than a decade ago, Vizo Financial started our annual Hot Dog Eating Contest to benefit CMN Hospitals. It’s been wildly successful and has brought in nearly $60,000 for one of our local CMN Hospitals.

Sponsor and/or Volunteer. Credit unions don’t just have to participate in campaigns or host fundraisers, either. There are plenty of sponsorship and volunteer opportunities to go around at the many events CMN Hospitals holds each year.

Make a Donation. Of course, there’s always the simple yet powerful gesture of making a donation. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to fill out a donation form and your donation will be on its way to making miracles.

Chapter 4: Celebrating the Legacy

When you think of CMN Hospitals, think of Harper’s story. Imagine the smile on her face as she earns her next Girl Scout badge or perfects her dance routine for the first time since learning the choreography. Think of her and know that your credit union had a hand in making those things possible for her.

You are part of the CMN Hospitals story and, in some small way, the miraculous life story of every CMN Hospitals champion. That’s a legacy worth celebrating!

As the VP of sales, marketing and education for Vizo Financial, Jaime Agostino oversees marketing, sales and educational offerings for the Corporate. Ms. Agostino holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the Pennsylvania State University. She currently holds her Series 7 (Registered General Securities Representative) and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination) investment licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and has also achieved the following professional designations: Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM), Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), SIE - Securities Industry Essentials Examination, Inbound Marketing Certified and Content Marketing Certified.