Every dollar donated to the Kids Caring for Kids campaign earned the donor a heart to display on the wall of the Ashdown Junior High School locker pit, and so there are 1060 hearts at AJHS!
Kids Caring for Kids is one of the four fund raising events in which the local chapter of Arkansas Children's Hospital Circle of Friends - Texarkana USA participates. In its third consecutive year to be a part of this effort, AJHS raised the most money this year - $1060.00 - to benefit the patients at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
"The KCK campaign allows the students to be actively involved in a volunteer capacity," according to Linda Willis, Learning for Life Director with the Caddo Area Council of Boy Scouts and member of ACH Circle of Friends. Willis kicked off the campaign in February by sharing with the AJHS students information about the hospital, including a video and patient stories.
Students began collecting donations from friends, family and neighbors and even became involved in a "friendly competition" between grades. The final total of $1060 was reached on March 2, "and the children who visit ACH will be the beneficiaries!" stated Willis.
Arkansas Children's Hospital treated more than 560 children from Little River County last year and more than 4,600 children from Miller and Bowie Counties. No family is turned away because of inability to pay; "that's why it is so important for us to be diligent about raising money for ACH," Willis stated. "It costs over $1 million a day to run the entire campus, which currently covers 29 city blocks," she continued.
Willis also stated that Circle of Friends chapters have built and paid for a non-emergency clinic (Circle of Friends Clinic) which sits on the south side of the campus. "Over the next five years, our COF efforts will go toward funding an Outdoor Healing Garden for Hematology/Oncology patients who can't be in general population areas," she concluded.
According to Willis, only two schools in the Texarkana USA chapter area participated in Kids Caring for Kids this year - Ashdown Junior High and Red Lick. She and the other Circle of Friends members encourage additional schools and other groups to be a part of next year's campaign, as well as participate in other fund raising efforts for Arkansas Children's Hospital. For additional information, call 903.293.5959.