A nurse cares for a child at the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball.
A nurse cares for a child at the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Decorative pink and white paper balloons coated the windows and walls of most Corner Stores around the country throughout April for the Miracle Balloon fundraiser. The local campaign raised $493,112 for the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio (CHofSA), one of 30 national Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals supported by Corner Store’s campaign.

The hefty total, 15% more than last year, was raised with $1, $5, and custom donation amounts at participating Corner Stores. On a national scale, Corner Store employees raised over $2.1 million in Miracle Balloon sales for CMN Hospitals.

“We are grateful to Corner Store for their constant commitment to providing hope and healing for our children,” stated John Bel, president of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Foundation, in a news release. “The funds raised from this campaign make it possible for The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to provide world-class, exceptional care for our children and their families, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Several other chain stores, including Costco and Rite Aid, participate in the balloon fundraiser, which raises money and awareness for a total of 170 children’s hospitals across North America.

The grants will be paid to the Children’s Hospital in quarterly payments and will go “where the greatest need is” as determined by hospital administration, said CHofSA Foundation spokesperson Veronica Laurel. She said the hospital is intentionally vague about where the money will go, but potential outlets include ongoing construction projects, healthcare initiatives, or research programs. 

Some may know the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio as the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, founded in 1955. The hospital shed its old names in 2013 after it severed most ties with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The hospital, which is still owned by CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System, is currently the city’s first and only free-standing, nonprofit hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children.

Green signs and friendly messages welcome visitors to a rebranded Corner Store at 19417 Babcock Road.  Photo by Edmond Ortiz.
Green signs and friendly messages welcome visitors to a rebranded Corner Store at 19417 Babcock Road. Photo by Edmond Ortiz.

San Antonio-based Valero Corner Store’s partnership with CMN Hospitals has raised more than $25 million for children’s hospitals through various campaigns over the past 22 years.

Including the $25 million total from Corner Store fundraisers, CMN Hospitals have raised more than $5 billion since 1983, helping them provide 32 million treatments a year to kids across the United States and Canada. A majority of the $5 billion total is raised $1 at a time through the Miracle Balloon fundraiser.

“The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio provides world-class medical care to children who need it most,” stated John Lauck, president and CEO of CMN Hospitals. “Corner Store associates and customers helped make miracles happen for sick and injured children through their faithful dedication and hard work.”

The San Antonio-based convenience store chain operates in more than 1,000 locations in nine central and southwestern states including Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Louisiana, Arkansas, Wyoming and Oklahoma. For more than 25 years, Corner Store has raised over $36 million in support of local and national charities.

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

Top image: A nurse cares for a child at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh studies journalism and English at the University of Texas at Austin and will graduate in May 2017.