CMN Hospitals Fundraising Gets Personal: How This Associate’s Experiences Inspire Her to Give Back

The birth of her son—and the help he received from a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital—changed Shannon’s life and outlook.

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When it comes to raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shannon K., a market health and wellness director in Virginia, says, “I recommend just experiencing it. Once you hear people’s stories, you can’t not help.”

Stories like Shannon’s own: Her son, Jaedyn, was born 15 weeks prematurely. He weighed just 11 ounces and had to spend months in neonatal intensive care at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. 

Shannon was at a Year Beginning Meeting when she gave birth, stuck in Florida far from home. Not only was she able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, only a few minutes’ walk from her son during his care, Walmart also paid all the expenses for her mom to stay with her during this crucial time. “I don’t know how they did it,” she says, “but the folks at Walmart just made it happen.”

Shannon’s son, Jaedyn, was born at just 25 weeks and weighed 11 ounces. Shannon says that today, “He’s a pretty healthy eight-year-old, and even plays baseball. It’s an absolute miracle.”

Her family’s experience reshaped her life—and has motivated her to give back. Here’s how she does it:

On connecting experiences to fundraising: “It was a while before we could talk publicly about our experience, but my husband and I eventually started volunteering with CMN Hospitals and the Ronald McDonald House. They began including our story as part of rolling out a new giving campaign, which let our 16 stores see how giving helps real people.”

On getting involved with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals: “It’s a great idea to attend a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals meeting first, to see how families are affected. Then you really see what an impact they make.”

On serving: “There’s a lot you can do. Because of my experience, I’ve done shifts at a Ronald McDonald House, cooking, reading books with kids. Making home-cooked meals for families is a way to make it feel a little more like home for them. My husband has made omelets to order, and I once made 300 apple turnovers for a holiday.”

What are you doing to help raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals this year? Share your story along with this link on Instagram or Facebook and tag @WalmartWorld—you could be featured in Walmart World! Don’t forget to tag us @WalmartWorld!

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