Walmart and Sam's Club stores campaigning for Children's Miracle Network services at Niswonger Children's Hospital

Sue Guinn Legg • Jun 11, 2019 at 9:53 PM

Walmart and Sam’s Club associates across the region are on a campaign to raise more than $200,000 for Children’s Miracle Network services and support for Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

Through July 7, the stores’ customers will have the chance to help sick and injured children in their communities by making $1 donations at the store’s checkouts, by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar or by taking part in any of a variety of fun fundraising activities lined up.

At stores in the greater Tri-Cities are the fundraising will include bake sales, hot dog wagons, cotton candy stands, a “pennies for heaven” toss at the Johnson City stores, a car show in Greeneville, a talent competition in Kingsport and more.

All funds raised in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia will go to the Children’s Miracle Network to help meet a variety of needs at the children’s hospital, including specialized state-of-the-art equipment, supplies, charitable care and medical research.

With a crowd of Walmart and Sam’s Club associates on hand for Tuesday morning’s campaign announcement in the children’s hospital lobby, hospital CEO Lisa Carter said the stores and their associates and shoppers “will be making miracles happen” for children in a five-state area served by the hospital.

And she encouraged everyone to follow the stores’ Facebook pages to watch for  announcements of the campaign events coming up.

Ballad Health Foundation President Jack Simpson said last year’s local Children’s Miracle Network campaign last year raised more than $200,000. “That’s huge,” he said. “A lot of that was a few cents or one dollar at a time. Thank you. And thanks to the people who will be shopping.”

Looking at the impact the campaign can make, Johnson City Walmart manager Emily Bowman said over the past 30 years Walmart has raised $1 billion in support for Children’s Miracle Network

“So this year what are we going to raise? $250,000, or more, as much as we can.

“This all stays right here … We take all of that straight to Children’s Miracle Network. This makes it easy for you to rise up and meet the challenge and make a difference in lives through Children’s Miracle Network.

Carter said, “Thanks to the thousands of people in our region who support this campaign, whether they’re shoppers or store associates, they help us be the place that makes kites fly, that helps and heals the young people of our region and, ultimately, that makes hope rise.”

Donations to Niswonger Children’s Hospital can also be made online www.balladhealth.org/foundation or by calling the Ballad Health Foundation at 423-302-3131.