Kentuckiana support of the WHAS Crusade for Children in this time of a global pandemic allowed the charity to dispense 238 grants worth $4.8 million.
The Crusade announced this year’s recipients Saturday, which included a grant to the Hardin Memorial Health Foundation, which has received $1 million from the organization since 2002 and more than $786,000 in the last five years.
“The donors should be proud of the lasting impact their contributions have made on regional families,” said Dawn Lee, president and CEO of the Crusade. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the HMH Foundation for years to come.”
This year the HMH Foundation received a $90,000 grant which will be used to purchase pediatric equipment for Hardin Memorial Health’s emergency department and for new equipment in its Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The NICU, which opened Sept. 1, 2015, has been a frequent recipient of support from the Crusade, which is dedicated “to make life better for children with special needs by inspiring generosity for our community partners.”
The HMH Emergency Department team cares for more than 1,100 babies and children from across the region each month. Because of its high pediatric volume, the department needs special equipment and resources to provide the best and most comfortable care, an HMH news release said.
“Our longstanding relationship with the WHAS Crusade for Children directly improves the lives and wellbeing of countless children,” HMHF Chairman Joe Prather said. “I feel sure nearly every child presenting to HMH for care, benefits from equipment or resources funded by the Crusade.”
Local firefighters and countless fundraisers raise money every year and the Crusade returns it to community efforts to help local children. Earlier this month, the Crusade conducted its 67th annual telethon, which raised $4.8 million. Through its endowment, the Crusade is able to return 100 percent of contributions to efforts to help special needs children across the region.
The Crusade designated $10,000 for the Rachel’s Fun for Everyone project, which raised money to build a fully accessible playground at Vine Grove’s Optimist Park and now is heading a campaign to establish a similar splash pad.
The organization named for Rachel Ritchie, who initially proposed the playground idea, expressed excitement and thankfulness to the Crusade on social media after learning of Saturday’s grant announcement.
“We look forward to what we can accomplish with this funding in addition to the continued support of our community,” the Facebook note said. “Together, we can change kids’ lives.”
Other local grants among the 238 announced include CASA of the Heartland, $11,000; Elizabethtown Independent Schools, $10,000; Hardin County Schools special education department, $40,000; HCS designated for West Point, $18,000; LaRue County Schools, $7,000; and Mission Hope for Kids, $4,000.
Other grants for organizations with a local presence or impact include Special Olympics Kentucky, $15,000; Sunrise Children’s Services, $16,000; Boy Scouts of America, Lincoln Heritage Council, $16,500; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana, $5,000; and seven grants for various projects associated with Norton Children’s Hospital including nutrition, infectious diseases and pediatric endocrimology.
To view a full list of the grants, go to whascrusade.org.
To donate, use the secure site online at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/wcfc or call 502-582-7706.