Rite Aid Miracle Balloon Campaign Supports Kids Treated at Children’s Specialized Hospital

July 20, 2020

As part of Rite Aid’s continued support of Children’s Specialized Hospital, the company and its New Jersey customers will come together through August 8 to raise lifesaving funds to improve kids’ health and change their future. The campaign comes during a critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create extraordinary need across the country, including here in New Jersey. Funds raised will help kids like Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s 2020 New Jersey Champion Child, Leah Hansen. 

After suffering a rare spinal cord stroke, almost unheard of in young children, Leah was left quadriplegic with no known prognosis. Her parents, Abby and Peter were terrified. Initially, Leah had difficulty breathing on her own and while she had some muscle control of her right leg and could wiggle her toes, she was in extreme pain. It hurt even to be touched. Over the next eight weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, Leah received physical, occupational and speech therapy. Aqua therapy was her favorite, and it was in the water that Leah took her first steps following her stroke. Leah continues outpatient therapy and doesn’t let anything hold her back.  She loves to ski and play softball. She recently ran a 5k with her family and plays the trombone in her 5th grade orchestra. She’s a true champion!

As part of a four-week, nationwide campaign among all 2,400 Rite Aid locations, customers can add a donation to their in-store transactions or donate via social media.  Contributions will fund urgent treatments, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care through Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation’s recently introduced Better Together Initiative. 

The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for small businesses and health care facilities. Over the last few months, community organizations, local businesses, and Children’s Miracle Network Hospital partners have been extremely supportive of Children’s Specialized Hospital, donating PPE (personal protective equipment), providing meals for staff, and hosting fundraisers.  Touched by the generosity of their supporters and members of the community, the Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation developed the Better Together initiative to show their appreciation and help struggling local businesses as New Jersey begins to reopen. To register your business or learn more about Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation’s Better Together initiative, visit www.childrens-specialized.org/better-together.

“The ripple effects of COVID-19 have affected nearly every aspect of treatment and services for children’s hospitals and without the help of caring partners like Rite Aid, many may face significant impacts in the short- and long-term,” said Teri Nestel, interim president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “All dollars Rite Aid customers, associates and supplier partners raise truly changes kids’ health and changes their future in every community our member hospitals serve.”

Rite Aid has been supporting Children’s Specialized Hospital since 2011 and in 2019 raised over $93,000 in support of pediatric patients in New Jersey. The Rite Aid Foundation will also direct funds raised through KidCents, its customer-generated charitable giving program dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children living in communities Rite Aid serves, to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through the duration of the fundraising campaign.

Children’s Specialized Hospital, a nonprofit organization, is leading the way into a brighter future for children and adolescents facing special health challenges – from chronic illnesses ad complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation supports the programs and services of the hospital and all donations go directly to helping us pioneer new specialized care and serve more children in need. To help, or for more information: visit www.childrens-specialized.org; find us on Facebookwww.facebook.com/chidrensspecialized, or follow us on Twitter @ChildrensSpecNJ.

About The Rite Aid Foundation

The Rite Aid Foundation addresses the disparities, inequities and divides in society and seeks to create meaningful and lasting change for children, families and communities through its investments and commitments. With a network of nearly 500 supported charities and partners – plus signature initiatives and programs – with a primary focus on health and wellness, the Foundation focuses on making local, regional and national impact in key fields. 

About Rite Aid Corporation

Rite Aid Corporation is on the front lines of delivering healthcare services and retail products to more than 1.6 million Americans daily. Our pharmacists are uniquely positioned to engage with customers and improve their health outcomes. We provide an array of whole-being health products and services for the entire family through over 2,400 retail pharmacy locations across 18 states. Through EnvisionRxOptions, we provide pharmacy benefits and services to approximately 4 million members nationwide. For more information, www.riteaid.com.

About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $7 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity's Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit's mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children's hospitals need community support, and learn about your member hospital, at CMNHospitals.org and facebook.com/CMNHospitals.