10 things to celebrate from 2020

While 2020 was a challenging year for all, donors showed kids their hearts and continued to care for the sick and injured children who need the hospital every day. Here’s some of the big ways you made an impact:

1)      Cardiac campaign grew to $14.7 M

In 2018 the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba began a campaign to raise $3.5 million for a new Children’s Heart Centre – the only one of its kind in the province. Now, thanks to the passion of campaign champions Barb and Gerry Price, the cardiac campaign’s goal is $14.7 million and includes the new Children’s Heart Centre, a catheterization lab and fluoroscopy lab, new specialized equipment, and will extend critically important vital signs remote monitoring capabilities across all inpatient units in Children’s Hospital. Thanks to you, we’re over 90% of the way there, and will help kids like Max and Carson get the care they need right here in Manitoba!

2)      Donors respond quickly to COVID-19 challenges

At the end of March when COVID-19 was still very new to us all and we faced strict lockdown protocols donors immediately came to the aid of children and medical staff with over 40 devices like iPads to ensure kids in hospital could still connect with their loved ones. Thank you!

3)      Virtual events raise critical funds for sick and injured kids

As COVID-19 prevented everyone from gathering in person we had to get creative finding ways to fundraise. You joined us from your own bubbles to make events like the virtual versions of the annual Ice Crystal Gala and Children’s Hospital Guild of Manitoba Bear Essentials Fashion Show huge successes. The GALActic Experience (this year’s revamped Ice Crystal Gala) raised over $250,000 and the Guild’s No-Show Fashion Show raised $55,000, which will double the current capacity of remote monitored equipment for kids in hospital who need close monitoring outside an ICU.

4)      CHRIM researchers at the forefront of critical COVID-19 studies

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) have been on the forefront of COVID-19 research right from the start of the pandemic. This research includes:

  • The CHILD Cohort Study to study the impact COVID-19 is having on families.
  • A study conducted by CHRIM CEO and Scientific Director at CHRIM and a group of international pediatric emergency medicine clinicians and researchers to learn more about the effects of COVID-19 in children. They’re studying how likely asymptomatic-infected children are to transmit the infection to other children and adults.
  • Investigation into parents’ mental health during COVID-19.
  • How coronaviruses affect large numbers of genes and proteins in different human lungs.
  • A close examination into who is being tested in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities where chronic illnesses like heart and lung disease are already prevalent.

5)      COVID-19 Cruises for Kids raised spirits and money for sick kids

A grass roots group started organizing drive-by parades for kids’ birthday parties during lockdown in the spring. Families began making donations as a way to say thank you and this evolved into a formal fundraising effort. COVID-19 Cruises for Kids raised over $8,000 for fun activities for patients and brightened up life in lockdown for hundreds of families, and kids in hospital.


6)      #GivingTuesday events brought in six digits in single day efforts

In response to the vast impacts of COVID-19 a new global day of giving, #GivingTuesdayNow took place in May 2020. Thanks to matching gifts from the Asper Foundation donors raised an amazing $159,000 for Child Life and research. In December #GivingTuesday, which directly followed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, also had a matching donor, Sharon and Mark Evans. This single day push brought in over $140,000 which helped purchase equipment for remote monitored beds.

7)      Champion Child, Brady, a great CHFM ambassador

Even during the pandemic the 2020 Champion Child, Brady, acted as an amazing ambassador for sick and injured kids at Children’s Hospital. Brady attended virtual events, shared important messages with Manitoba media, and showed up in person when it was safe to do so, all to help raise awareness and funds to help other kids like him in hospital.

Brady did all this and also had his own challenges to contend with. He went through major spinal surgery at Children’s Hospital in the spring, when Manitoba was under strict COVID-19 guidelines. Thanks, Brady!

8)      Dr. Goodbear masks support sick and injured kids and promoted safety

Sick kids can’t wait for a cure for COVID-19. That’s why in August Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba developed Dr. Goodbear masks and partnered with Walmart to sell them, with one hundred per cent of the proceeds supporting sick and injured kids in Manitoba. This meant an affordable, safe option was available across the province for families with kids going back to school in September.

These sales have raised more than $100,000 and counting for kids in Manitoba. Plus, many other businesses came on board to sell masks including all three SaveOn Foods, FreshCo Jefferson, the three Coop  Food Stores in Winnipeg, FoodFare grocery stores, the Children’s Hospital Guild’s Nearly New Shop and goodlocal.ca. Get yours today for just $6 each. 

9)      Super supporters from Manitoba media

Media in Manitoba answered our calls for help this year with donations of time and talent that made a huge difference. We are so thankful to the many media personalities who supplied videos to the Foundation’s virtual Teddy Bear Picnic. Also thanks to Chrissy Troy who donated her time to be live at the virtual GALActic Experience. And bear hugs to several organizations (Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, KISS 102.3, 103.1 Virgin Radio and Global News) that made fun, hopeful messages played on CHTV to make life a little brighter for kids in hospital over the holidays.

10)   Dr. Goodbear on Good Local

The Children’s Hospital Foundation joined Manitoba makers and started to sell merchandise on goodlocal.ca. Good Local now carries Dr. Goodbear products like masks and collectable Dr. Goodbear stuffies, with one hundred per cent of proceeds helping sick and injured children in Manitoba. Have a Dr. Goodbear delivered right to your house!