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Join #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, March 18-24, to Change Kids' Health

Izabella Neira (above) is one of the youngest patients ever to receive a heart-lung transplant. Her children’s hospital, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., had the expertise and equipment to ensure the now 7-year-old could live a healthy, active life. It also had another vital resource — donations.

Children’s hospitals like Shands Children’s rely on donations; government and insurance programs do not cover the full cost of caring for kids. Donations fill that funding gap in pediatric health care, providing equipment, treatments, research and charitable care. At Shands Children’s, philanthropy has provided technology that allows caregivers to visualize airways like Izabella’s and pullout sofas where her family slept by her in the days following her surgery.

To raise more funds for children’s hospitals, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) and its community of supporters are activating during #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, beginning March 18. Leading the movement are its core partners: premier sponsor Ace Hardware, Marriott International, Walmart Canada, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Air Canada Foundation and Aflac.

“This week is about shining a spotlight on the 24-7, around-the-clock charitable needs of children’s hospitals,” said CMN Hospitals president and CEO John Lauck. “Without additional funding, children’s hospitals do not have the resources they need to care for the more 10 million kids treated each year. We need to do more to fill this gap in pediatric health care funding.”

Join the movement:

Watch and give during the annual #ChildrensHospitalsWeek Live-athon at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 20. Similar to CMN Hospitals’ trademark telethons, this live fundraiser, hosted by Allison Holker and Stephen ‘tWitch” Boss, features inspiring patients, celebrity supporters and corporate guests. Watch live on Facebook and Twitch.

Wear a bandage in support of children’s hospitals. Get your free bandages here. Take a photo and share it on your social channels with #ChildrensHospitalsWeek.

Create a Facebook fundraiser. A simple how-to can be found here.

Tune in to the 22nd annual Ace Shootout at 5 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. This tournament, featuring teams of celebrities competing in golf challenges, raised a record-breaking $2.6 million for children’s hospitals.

Join Dairy Queen® Free Cone Day on March 20 at participating non-mall Dairy Queen® and DQ Grill & Chill® locations.

Eat pancakes at IHOP to support children’s hospitals. One dollar from every purchase of OREO® Oh My Goodness pancakes will support local children’s hospitals.

Round-up your change on purchases made at Love’s Travel Stops to support local children’s hospitals.

Shop Kendra Scott’s Children’s Charm on March 18. All proceeds from charm sales will go to local children’s hospitals.

Donate to your local children’s hospital.