After Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, Cyber Monday and #GivingTuesday, which is a social media movement that changes the way we think about giving.
For #GivingTuesday on Dec. 3, you can donate online, volunteer your time, sign up to be a Change Bandit for the Akron or Mahoning Valley radiothons, or share a blog post. See how some our kids give back to the hospital. Learn more at akronchildrens.org/givingtuesday.
At 6 and 4 years old, Rhys and Mia Lewis already know the importance of two things: saying thank you and helping others.
Following Mia’s hospital stay last year, the sisters started a fundraiser for Akron Children’s. Instead of Monster High dolls or Disney Princesses, they asked for trial-sized toiletries for patient families in need.
“Mia had a 5-day stay in November 2012 and was treated for a non-typical form of Kawasaki disease,” said their mother, Renee Lewis. “I didn’t anticipate being at the hospital for longer than one night, but as the days passed, I refused to leave. I found myself in desperate need of a shower.”
After the stay, the Lewises decided they wanted to give back to an “amazing hospital where the children are so well cared for.”
Rhys and Mia collected and delivered toiletries to the hospital, and monetary donations to a local homeless shelter. They enjoyed the experience so much they decided they wanted to collect donations every year for their birthdays.
To recognize their generosity, Rhys and Mia were invited to join Kids GIVE, a donor recognition program for children who have given back to the hospital.
The girls joined Kids GIVE because it is a “great opportunity to be a part of something that will help others; especially because it was giving back to the hospital that was so amazing to both of them,” said Renee.
“We will continue to donate every year with the hopes that each family can have as great of an experience as we did in such a stressful time,” said Renee.
Children in the community like Rhys and Mia give to the hospital in many ways. From serving as Change Bandits for the radiothons to organizing toy drives to selling lemonade – every donation, regardless of its size, makes a difference to the patients we serve.
“The hospital is extremely fortunate to have so many children who want to give back,” said Sara Lundenberger, special events coordinator. “It’s important to encourage and recognize those kids who have a philanthropic spirit at such a young age.”
All Kids GIVE members receive a membership certificate, as well as a bimonthly newsletter, invitations to child-friendly events and birthday cards in the mail.
For more information, or to enroll your child, call the Foundation at 330-543-8340. The Kids GIVE program is supported by PNC.