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Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation advocates community health amidst coronavirus threats

UPDATE: March 12

According to The Fresno Bee and reporter Bethany Clough, Kids Day 2020 raised nearly $128,000 for Valley Children’s Hospital without any special print newspapers sold. As of March 10, the yearly event has now raised over $10 million since 1987. Donations are still being accepted digitally. To contribute, text GEORGE to 20222 to make an automatic $10 donation or visit to donate any amount starting at $1. A final total will be released next week.

Original article: March 9

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

With the recent outbreak of coronavirus worldwide, the 33rd annual Kids Day experienced a one-time cancellation, causing residents to donate online.

Through rain, hail or shine, the annual Kids Day event across the Central Valley has prevailed for the past 33 years, incorporating thousands of volunteers and raising over $600,000 in 2019 for Valley Children’s Hospital.

Despite the growth of community support, the recent global outbreak of COVID-19 presents an obstacle which has caused the cancellation of Kids Day and thrown millions into a panic: coronavirus.

Kids Day 2020 was planned for March 10, however, as the event revolves around students and community members exchanging money and newspapers, spokeswoman for Valley Children’s Healthcare Zara Arboleda announced the cancellation of the event to avoid potential spread of coronavirus.

Manager of Annual Development at Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation and former open heart surgery patient at Valley Children’s Jessica Duarte helps organize Kids Day each year. Encouraged by the community support after the event cancellation, Durante promotes the 2020 digital version of the fundraiser.

“Everyone’s health is of the utmost importance and this decision to cancel Kids Day signifies what we do here at Valley Children’s,” Duarte said. “Keeping people healthy and happy and keeping kids being kids. I know Kids Day is a treasured event here in the community and I will say that when we had to make these calls, the schools, businesses and volunteers all appreciated the hospital putting the community health first.”

In the following podcast, junior Bryce Foshee discusses the Kids Day cancellation with Max Hinton, ’22, former Valley Children’s patient.

Rather than a hand-to-hand newspaper exchange, the community supports this year’s Kids Day by donating a minimum of $1 to Valley Children’s Hospital online. Text ‘GEORGE’ to 20222 to make an automatic donation of $10 or visit the hospital’s website to make a customized donation.

While there are no known cases of coronavirus in the Valley Children’s Healthcare network, the hospital advocates for protection against other illnesses such as influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

In the following tweet, The Fresno Bee advertises the cancellation of Kids Day and the reasons behind the decision.

The following precautionary measures have been recommended by Duarte and the rest of the medical staff at Valley Children’s:

  1. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water is not available, disinfect with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with un-sanitized hands.
  3. Avoid close contact with ill individuals.
  4. Stay home when sick.
  5. Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, making sure to dispose of the tissue afterward.
  6. Clean frequently used surfaces and objects.
Valley Children's Hospital

Rather than a hand-to-hand newspaper exchange, the community supports this year’s Kids Day by donating a minimum of $1 to Valley Children’s Hospital online.

Member of student leadership Max Hinton, ‘22, spent time under the care of Valley Children’s Hospital professionals when he was a child. Hinton shares the value he places on the hospital and his hope for a new way to donate.

“Valley Children’s is great,” Hinton. “They took great care of me while I was there. I was in and out for a little over a year. They are great at what they do. It would be good if we could find some other way to raise money for them.”

This one-time cancellation of Kids Day protects over 8,000 volunteers across the Central Valley. The organizations, businesses, schools and participants involved in the annual event continue to support Valley Children’s through online giving and promoting community health.

Make sure to head over to the Valley Children’s website or text and make a donation to support Kids Day! For more Kids Day 2020 coverage, visit 33rd Kids Day cancelled.

Kids Day is a partnership between Valley Children’s Healthcare, ABC30 and The Fresno Bee. The coverage and support between all three organizations establishes a community event that impacts thousands of children.

To read last year’s coverage of the Kids Day event, check out Kids Day 2019 shows community involvement, compassion.

For more articles, read Basketball defeats Fowler, wins Valley in 2OT thriller and EDITORIAL: Stereotyping negatively impacts communities, personal growth.

Addison Schultz can be reached via email and via Twitter @SchultzAddison.

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