Local Walmart and Sam’s Club stores celebrate 30 years of fundraising for Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital

National campaign nearing $1 billion in fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

For 30 years, Walmart and Sam’s Club associates have been helping families in their communities live better by raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals). Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members in the U.S. and Canada have contributed more than $930 million dollars since 1987.

Local Walmart and Sam’s Club stores are once again joining forces to raise money for Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital during the annual CMN Hospitals campaign. The ‘80s was a unique era of time. It was full of loud colors, extreme fashion, sky-high hair, and the beginning of the Walmart and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) partnership. Associates from Midlands Walmart and Sam’s Club stores teased up their hair and donned neon clothes at a totally awesome meeting to kick off this year’s campaign and celebrate 30 years of fundraising for Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

Walmart and Sam’s Club associates customers and members have raised $3,053,964 for Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital since 1987. On a national level, Walmart and Sam’s Club are closing in on the $1 billion fundraising mark for CMN Hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.

During the 2017 register campaign set for September 21 – October 29, customers and members can conveniently donate $1 or more when they check out at any Midlands Walmart or Sam’s Club stores. Associates also fundraise in other ways including bake sales, in-store contests, and events.

The 2016 campaign raised $103,118 for Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. The year-round funds contributed in 2016 in the U.S. and Canada totaled more than $60 million.

Money raised at Midlands Walmart and Sam’s Club stores goes directly to benefit the sick and injured kids treated at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Funds are used to pay for equipment, supplies, programs, services and a variety of other needs the hospital has.

Walmart and Sam’s Club joined the CMN Hospitals fundraising family in 1987 with Sam Walton himself being personally involved in the beginning of the relationship between the organizations. The fundraising campaigns support Walmart’s goal of giving back to local communities.

Fundraising helps local kids like Ariana Lorick. Ariana and her mother, Krystal shared their story with associates at the kickoff meeting. In 2011, Krystal Lorick believed her daughter, Ariana, had a cold. When the toddler’s symptoms became worse, Lorick learned that Ariana had a respiratory condition called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Additional genetic testing revealed that Ariana also had Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 2.

“Ariana was a full-term baby who weighed 8 lbs., 4 ozs. Learning that she has a chronic illness was unexpected,” said Lorick. “I’m an internet geek, so I immediately did research to learn more about SMA and what it meant for our family.”

Lorick credits the physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital with helping her learn how to care for a child with a chronic illness. Now seven years old, Ariana uses a wheelchair for mobility and has a feeding tube. She gets daily breathing treatments and has a compromised immune system. In children with SMA, a respiratory virus can lead to pneumonia.

“Children’s Hospital is an awesome place,” said Lorick. “Ariana has a bond like no other with her respiratory therapists including Beverly Tucker and Laverna Lawson. She loves the Child Life team dearly and she is very loved and spoiled by her Children’s Hospital family. We are very thankful for Dr. Jason Peck, Dr. Robert Hubbird and all of Ariana’s nurses, especially Mallory Sessions and Kerri Manley.”

Ariana has a dog at home and a puppy at her grandmother’s house. She loves being visited by the pet therapy dogs when she is in the hospital.

Customers and members can help spread the word about the campaign via social media using the hashtag #HelpKidsLiveBetter.

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