Every spring, the weather warms up and the streets and trails fill with people running and walking. It’s also a time when your Facebook page is likely being taken over by posts about charity runs. Every week, there seems to be a 5K or “Fun Run”, raising money for a worthy cause. For years, I would scroll past those Facebook posts, sometimes stopping to donate or pausing to read their personal story. Someone may be raising money for March of Dimes because their child was born premature. Others may support a cancer charity because their friend passed away from the disease. It’s these deep connections that have many people trying to raise awareness and funds for a cause near and dear to their heart. I never put much thought into why it is so important to them.
That is until now.
Because of my ties to the media, I have become involved in several charities over the years. I used to host the MDA Telethon and grew attached to the children I met living with muscular dystrophy. I became a wish granter through Make-A-Wish, making dreams come true for children facing a tough road ahead. And this past year, I found myself becoming involved with Children’s Miracle Network. But this time, it was for a completely different reason.
As I recently mentioned on my blog, I am finding myself in uncharted territory. Instead of being on camera, interviewing families who benefit from these causes, my family is deeply benefiting from a charity. We are a “Children’s Miracle Network” family. My children experienced, first hand, where the CMN money goes. The Nicu at our local hospital in Illinois is stocked with receiving blankets, hats and toys… all things to make a patient more comfortable during an unstable and scary time. And much of this is possible, thanks to donations.
Our Nicu journey has led us to a whole new appreciation for charity. Peyton is a “Children’s Miracle Network” child, an organization that helps millions of kids across the country. And through our charity experience, we have met some wonderful people. We have gotten to know volunteers and staff through taking part in a local CMN Radiothon and we’ve connected with other families who have a miracle child of their own. While monetary donations help, there are so many other ways to give back. From volunteering to taking part in the actual events, the opportunities are endless. As for my family, we’re taking part in a half marathon this weekend, raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Due to mounting medical bills, we’re not in a financial place to donate large sums of money, so this is our way of paying it forward. We are part of “Team Princess Peyton”, along with some friends who are running in honor of our triplets. Peyton will be staying home for this race, but I know she will be running the streets of Springfield, IL in spirit, along with Abby and Parker.
This is just the beginning for my family. Thousands of people have supported us over the past year and will continue to for years to come. We are thrilled to be able to do little things to give back to the charities and communities who have taken us under their wings. So the next time you think of giving back to an organization, picture my family. There are many others just like us, who are grateful and blessed by the generosity of others.