The annual fundraiser, which kicked off at Monday morning’s press conference, raises money at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to pay for the medical needs of sick and injured children treated at Niswonger.
The campaign will run until Sept. 30 to pay for hospital equipment, research, supplies, charitable care and more. According to fundraiser ambassador Courtney Good, 11, the funds raised through the campaign are an important part of giving children such as herself the care they need.
When Good was born prematurely, she said there were many times when her parents were afraid she “wouldn’t make it.”
“In September 2006, I was born way too early — 15 weeks too early. I only weighed a pound and 8 ounces and I was 12 and a half inches long. My dad’s wedding ring could fit on my leg because it was so tiny,” she said. “Thanks to the medical equipment donated (through the campaign) and the great staff in the NICU, I was finally able to go home after a long, four-month stay in the hospital.”
Good’s story is just one of many. In August 2016, Luke Bryan, 11, was involved in a tragic mountain biking accident. Through the funds raised by the campaign, father David Bryan said Luke was able to make a full recovery after receiving treatment for his injuries at Niswonger.
“He is the ‘why’ of this whole campaign, and we could not be more grateful to be a part of this campaign,” David Bryan said. “We are super proud to be a part of it.”
Stories such as these are reminders of why fundraisers are an important part of bolstering pediatric care at children’s hospitals across the country, according to Niswonger CEO Lisa Carter.
“That’s exactly why we do what we do and why we need to be here to care for all of those babies and all of those families,” Carter said.
Walmart customers and Sam’s Club members can help spread the word about the in-store campaign via social media using the hashtag #HelpKidsLiveBetter. Additional donations to Niswonger Children’s Hospital can also be made at any time by visiting www.balladhealth.org/foundation or calling 423-302-3131.