Each year, the city of Fresno puts on Kids Day as an effort to raise money for Valley Children’s Hospital. This year was a huge success; volunteers Valley-wide raised over $535,000, a new record! The Jan & Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement & Service-Learning organizes the portion of Kids Day where Fresno State students participate. Nearly 2,000 Fresno State students participated this year and raised over $44,000, which is slightly higher than last year and a substantial portion of the grand total! Numerous clubs and organizations participate in this event each year, and it has even become a competition for many of them—especially the fraternities. This year, out of all of the participating fraternities, Sigma Phi Epsilon raised the most money, over $5,000. The other top selling organization was Trabajadores de La Raza, who raised over $1,200.
Kids Day is one of the first community service events I participated in last year, when I was a freshman at Fresno State. Coming from the small town of Hollister, California, I remember thinking how amazing it was that so many people (students and local Fresnans) dedicated so much of their day to raise money for this amazing cause. Some people even start the night before, waiting hours at a corner so that they can hold their spot for the next day. Cora Cha, Fresno State Sophomore and member of the Richter Center SERVE committee, helped organize this event at Fresno State. Cha states,
“Kids Day is much more than raising money for Valley Children’s Hospital. It’s about the unity that brings the community together for the children in the hospital. It reveals the depth of what we can accomplish when we come together and take action.”
Cha’s words represent much of how I feel about Kids Day, and I’m sure many others feel the same. That is why this is such a successful annual event. This year, my role in Kids Day was behind the scenes as I distributed newspapers with my fellow Richter Center Student Leaders to other students. Being a part of this event on both sides of the spectrum was compelling because I got to see how important every role is in order to make an event successful. Seeing both students and the Fresno community come together to raise money for the Valley Children’s Hospital further ignited my passion for volunteerism and community service. I could not be more proud to be an advocate and student leader for community service; I can only hope that even more students were influenced by Kids Day!
What is your favorite annual event? What organization would you want to promote city-wide?