More than 200 kids joined Kidz for a Cause ThinkTank to raise $300,540 for Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children. It was a remarkable outcome for these young fundraisers who ranged in age from 6 to 17. The money raised will fund programs and services for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Kapiolani. Kidz for a Cause, a Hawaii-based organization run by kids, combines positivity, talent, and energy to spearhead unique fundraisers benefiting keiki in our community. This year’s effort to help some of the most fragile patients at Kapiolani drew the highest amount of donations in Kidz for a Cause history, more than the last three years combined.
“Our original goal for the NICU was $100,000. When we passed that, we raised it to $150,000,” said Nicki Lee, founder of Kidz for a Cause. “But a lot of the fundraisers kicked in toward the end, and when we saw how high it was going we decided to keep the final tally a secret until we present the check to the NICU.”
ThinkTank is a mega-campaign composed of dozens of micro-campaigns. Kids who joined ThinkTank created their own “FUNraisers,” which were either planned events or creative ways of asking family and friends to make donations. “It was really incredible what some of the kids came up with,” said Lee. “We had two sisters who organized a gourmet dinner. Some student athletes held a sports clinic. One girl sold her gently used clothes online. We even had a second-grader who organized a kids’ concert with her friends.”
Other notable “FUNraisers” included:
- Soccer tournaments
- Talent shows
- Dance parties
- Acai bowl booths
- Locally grown mango sales
- A hosted dinner that local chefs donated their time to help raise nearly $5,000
- A “Brunch for Babies” where kids made breakfast for nearly 100 guests who bought tickets
- Halloween trolley tour
The kids were responsible for all aspects of their fundraisers from promotion and flyers to collecting money from donors. A majority of the participants were from Oahu, but some local kids involved were from the neighbor islands and as far away as California.
“It is inspiring to have youthful energy and enthusiasm behind these efforts to improve the health care of Hawaii’s babies,” said Kapiolani CEO Martha Smith. “Nicki and her mother, Cathy Lee, have been instrumental in creating Kidz for a Cause to allow kids the opportunity to be in charge and make a difference. We applaud everyone involved and every project that has peaked these kids interest in giving back to their community.”
Kidz for a Cause’s board of directors and junior board worked together to recruit other kids and get them inspired to help Hawaii’s only women and children’s full service specialty hospital. Early in the campaign, kids gathered for brainstorming sessions to discover how to most effectively use their talents and entrepreneurial skills.
Kidz for a Cause revealed the grand total raised for Kapiolani with a check presentation at their Spotlight On Kidz party held Nov. 20. The celebration for all of this year’s ThinkTank participants included an awards ceremony recognizing the top fundraisers and most creative fundraising ideas. The event included snack stations, prizes and a selfie booth.
Community support allows Kapiolani to provide specialty care and programs for women, infants and children like no other facility in the state and the Pacific Region. As a not-for-profit hospital, Kapiolani serves every patient regardless of their ability to pay.
About Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children
Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children is well recognized as Hawaii’s leader in the care of women, infants and children. With 207 beds, the not-for-profit hospital is Hawaii’s only maternity, newborn and pediatric specialty hospital. It delivers 6,000 babies a year, and is also a medical teaching and research facility. Specialty services for patients throughout Hawaii and the Pacific Region include intensive care for infants and children, 24-hour emergency pediatric and adult care, critical care air transport and high-risk perinatal care. Over 1,500 employees and more than 630 physicians provide specialty care at Kapiolani. The hospital is home to the Kapiolani Women’s Center and the Women’s Cancer Center, and offers numerous community programs and services, such as specialty pediatric clinics, the Kapiolani Child Protection Center and the Sex Abuse Treatment Center. Kapiolani is an affiliate of Hawaii Pacific Health, one of the state’s largest health care providers and a not-for-profit health care network of hospitals, clinics, physicians and other caregivers serving Hawaii and the Pacific region with high quality, compassionate care. In addition to Kapiolani, Hawaii Pacific Health includes Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Medical Center and Wilcox Medical Center. Learn more at Kapiolani.org.
About Kidz for A Cause
Founded by third-grader Nicki Lee in 2008, Kidz For A Cause (KFAC) is a Hawaii-based organization of elementary and high school students drawn together by a desire to help kids in need. Combining their positivity, talent, and energy, KFAC puts on awesome FUNraisers benefiting non-profits dedicated to helping kids. Prior to Kapiolani’s campaign, Kidz for A Cause raised over $120,000 for other local non-profits including Ronald McDonald House, American Heart Association, and Friends of the Children’s Justice Center. Learn more at KidzForACause.org.