A Million Miracles for A Million Children

December 9, 2013

CMN Hospitals Counter

This post is brought to you by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donate $5 and give a miracle to a child in the hospital this Christmas.


By Gabrielle. 

Not so fun fact: This Christmas, there are one million kids who will spend the holiday in the hospital. One million kids.

I don’t know if you’ve ever spent time in a hospital over Christmas, but there are few experiences more discouraging. I remember visiting my sister Sara and her husband Steve. They were spending December with their tiny preemie baby, little Lucy, in the hospital, while their other 3 very young children were at home — 5 hours away. It’s an impossible situation. You’re fighting for your child’s life, dividing time between home and hospital, while trying to provide some sort of “normal” holiday for the rest of your children. And mostly you’re just trying to survive each day.

I’m sure you have your own Christmas-in-the-hospital stories as well.

And that’s where Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals comes in. This organization has a piece of my heart. CMN Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals in North America. The hospitals provide $3.4 billion in charitable care every single year. That amounts to $6,500 in charitable care every minute! As I’m sure you know, when a child becomes hospitalized with a serious illness, the costs quickly become overwhelming. So charitable care is essential.

CMN Hospitals Kids

This month, CMN Hospitals is encouraging people to make a $5 donation in honor of one of the one million kids who will spend Christmas in the hospital. They even have a real time counter that counts down as donations come in. It started at 1 million, and every $5 donation brings the counter down 1 number. Check out the current number here.

The thing I love best about CMN Hospital’s fundraising? Donations stay local, and the children’s hospitals use the funds however they need them most. It’s easy to donate. Simply go here and follow the steps.

Friends, thinking of children spending their holiday in the hospitals just breaks my heart! So I’ve been pondering what I could do personally to really encourage donations, and I came up with a plan. I’m going to send my favorite Christmas book, Every Man Heart Lay Down, by Lorenz Graham, to 50 Design Mom Readers who donate! That’s right, 50 books to 5o people!!

Design Mom is giving away 50 copies of her favorite Christmas Book: Every Man Heart Lay Down. Click through for details!

Donate here, then leave a comment below letting me know what name you used to donate. You can use your own name, or donate in honor of someone you love. And that’s it! 50 commenters will be randomly chosen between Christmas and New Year’s, and I’ll contact each one via email to arrange shipping. Any donation works — $5, $25, $50, $100+. Give what you can, then let me know you donated. Fifty people will receive a hardbound copy of Every Man Heart Lay Down.

iPad Mini

12/17 UPDATE: I’ve added a Grand Prize! Everything in this post still holds true, but one lucky person will also to be picked to win an iPad Mini!! Plus, I’ll donate the value of an iPad Mini in the grand prize winner’s name, to CMN Hospitals!!

This isn’t a CMN Hospitals contest. It’s just me, personally encouraging you to donate, and trying to tempt you with the chance at receiving a gift from me. Give in to the temptation! : ) Let’s get that counter down, down, down.

To demonstrate how straightforward it is to donate, I went through the process twice (once with Paypal and once with a credit card) and documented it with screen grabs. Take a look.

CMN Hospitals Donate Screen 1

Screen 1:
Go here and fill out the red column on the right.

- Fill in your first name and last name.
- Click on a donation amount or fill in the space with your own chosen amount.
- Choose one-time, or monthly donation.
- Choose to pay by credit card or Paypal.
- Click Donate.

CMN Hospitals Donate Screen 2

Screen 2 for PAYPAL Users:
Choose the hospital you want to donate to. (I chose the local children’s hospital here in Oakland.) Then click continue. A window will open up for Paypal and you can confirm the purchase. After that, you can skip down to the final screenshot.

CMN Hospitals Donate Screen 4

Screen 2 for CREDIT CARD Users:
- Choose the hospital you want to donate to (I chose the children’s hospital in Oakland).
- Fill out your name, address, phone & email.
- Click “continue”.

CMN Hospitals Donate Screen 4.1

Screen 2.1 for CREDIT CARD Users:
If you check the box marked “Make this donation in memory or honor of someone”, this form will appear. Fill it out, then click “continue”.

CMN Hospitals Donate Screen 5

Screen 3 for CREDIT CARD Users:
Fill in your billing information and click “continue”.

CMN Hospitals Donate Screen 6

Screen 4 for CREDIT CARD Users:
Confirm that all the information you put in is correct, then click “submit transaction”.

CMN Hospitals Donation Screen 3

Final Screen for All Users:
You’re done! You’ll see this confirmation screen, and if your donation was $5 or more, you’ll see the number on the counter has gone down. Go you! Way to provide a miracle for a child in the hospital this Christmas.


See what I mean? Straightforward as can be. Go donate now! And then let me know you did. Because I really want to send you a book — or an iPad Mini. Thank you so much for being generous this month. You’re amazing.

P.S. — Don’t celebrate Christmas? Or already have Every Man Heart Lay Down? I hear you. When I contact you for shipping info, just let me know and I’ll choose an alternate title just for you!

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Just Moms » Blog Archive » A Million Miracles for A Million Children
December 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jo December 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

We were able to bring our preemie twin boys home days before Christmas 2 years ago but we did spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. Every day spent in the hospital with a child is so difficult, but I can’t imagine Christmas day. Ugh. I donated in my name, Jo Schaeffer-Crabb. Thank you for posting this Gabrielle.


2 Heather December 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

I have twin boys and one of them was recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome at 18 months old. We had to spend a week in the Children’s hospital two hours away, but it was such a heartening experience.

I donated in my name, Heather Perry, in honor of my son, Holt (before I realized you were doing a giveaway, haha). Thank you for this post.


3 Chris Lambert December 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

Just donated! Thank you!


4 jenny also December 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

What an awesome cause! I just donated from The Abrami Family. (made even easier with Pay Pal) And I love your extra incentive; so thoughtful to include those of us who do not celebrate Christmas.

Gabby, Your authentic voice, good taste, and generous heart, and all around thoughtfulness make Design Mom a daily “must read” for me. You’re the best!


5 Stephanie Smith December 9, 2013 at 11:34 am

I just donated, I donated under my name, Stephanie Smith. I should have donated under my nephews name, Haydn. He has been in the hospital about half of his 3 years. He has a growth hormone deficiency and type 1 diabetes. Our family is so thankful for the Children’s Miracle Network as well as The Ronald McDonald houses. Thank you for encouraging your readers to donate to such a worthy cause! And thank you for using your resources to add an incentive. I love reading your blog, I’m uplifted daily.


6 erica December 9, 2013 at 11:36 am

just donated in honor of my beautiful daughter ruby who spent some time at a wonderful childrens hospital when she was a baby.


7 jen December 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

I just donated in my name (Jennifer Lewin). Thank you for this post and happy holidays!


8 Nora B December 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

I donated under nora ballantyne. Thank you for bringing awareness to such a wonderful project and cause. Your online space is such a wonderful bright spot–thanks for being so real, genuine, and kind.


9 Susan December 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Thank you for sharing this. My daughter spent some time at Children’s Hospital in Boston. We received such wonderful care and support there– I’m always looking for ways to support this amazing place. I just donated under Susan Hartman.


10 juliagblair December 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I donated! Thanks for the invitation. We’ve had hospital Christmases.


11 Laura Roth December 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I just donated in my own name. Thanks for posting this! My little brother was actually spotlighted on a CMN telethon a couple of decades ago after surviving an allergic reaction to an ear infection medicine at age four (the same Rx our doc gave me tons of times). Akron Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House there are very close to my heart.


12 Amy December 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Just donated under Amy Evanson. What a worthy cause! Thanks for helping me remember what Christmas is all about–reaching out to each other and giving what we can.


13 Freida December 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Just donated under Freida Miller. Thank you for doing this. It means so so much to the people that this donation touches. I was happy to have the recommendation about how to give! (also, I must say, am curious about your favorite Christmas book!)


14 Karin December 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

What a great cause. Thanks so much for sharing this information! (I remember what it was like spending New Year’s Eve in the hospital with my husband, who was getting chemo — meanwhile I was eight months pregnant. Yet I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be there with a sick child.)
And thank you so much for giving away this book. Every Man Heart Lay Down has been our family’s favorite Christmas book for decades — discovered long ago by my wonderful mom. The story is told so beautifully — like poetry — and the pictures are breathtaking!


15 Emily December 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Thank you so much for this post! It’s so easy to become wrapped in gift-giving that all too often what’s really important goes overlooked. I donated for my little sisters–now six and healthy–who spent two months in a Children’s Hospital before coming home to us.

For those considering other Christmas donations, Compassion International and the work of India Partners is very near and dear to my heart.


16 Becca December 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I just donated as Becca Waye. Couldn’t I used PayPal, and it couldn’t be simpler!


17 Sarah December 9, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Donated as Sarah Judson on behalf of my younger brother who spent two holiday seasons in the hospital battling leukemia.

Thanks for the reminder to donate and all the good you help motivate!


18 Jenna H-S December 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Thank you for this post and encouragement to donate. I donated in honor of my new son, Reid Skidmore, who is 1 month old today. Thankfully we didn’t have to spend extra time in the hospital, but I empathize so much for those who must go through that experience.


19 Jessie River December 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I just donated in my son’s name, Aiyden Rivers. Thank you so much for this post. It’s nice to be reminded of what this season is really about!


20 mom in mendon December 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I like this idea. It makes me feel very grateful. I just made five donations in the names of these grandchildren:

1. For Robin Emily, whose little heart was helped by doctors.
2. For Lucy, a premie miracle, who will turn 15 this month.
3. For Henry and Edie Jean, both of whom are gifts to our family thanks to modern medicine.
4. For Roman who has been blessed by the help of skilled surgeons.
5. For Trey, Porter and Greyson, happy little boys who owe their lives to miraculous medical science.

And I love the book!


21 Ceridwen December 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I donated in the name of my nephew, David Sacran. He was born this past fall with Down’s Syndrome. He and his parents had to spend quite a while at the hospital in Memphis.


22 Elizabeth Aquino December 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm

What a wonderful cause. I used my name and designated the funds to our Children’s Hospital here in Los Angeles. As the mother of a child with multiple disabilities, these causes are dear to my heart, and I am grateful for people like you!


23 Elizabeth December 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm

you had me at child in a hospital over christmas (before i saw the giveaway)! thanks for calling my attention to this. elizabeth gay


24 Erin December 10, 2013 at 12:50 am

I love the work CMN does. Erin Beltran


25 Mychael-Ann Pelo December 10, 2013 at 5:03 am

My handsome, healthy 9 yr old is around thanks to a wonderful children’s hospital who cared for him as a very sick infant! Those were long, hard weeks of motherhood. So happy to give back. Mychael-Ann Pelo


26 Gina December 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I made a donation in my own name Gina Duncan, but it was for my son who spent a horrifying night at Primary Children’s when he was 8 days old. Just the thought brings tears to my eyes. So thankful for this happy 6 month old baby who blows bubbles and drives his feet like a race car. Thanks for the opportunity!


27 Gretchen Alice December 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Lovely idea. I donated under my name, Gretchen Alice, to Primary Children’s in UT. (They’ve helped out our family a ton over the years.)


28 Vanessa Hunt December 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Donated under Vanessa Hunt. Thank you for doing this Gabrielle. Great idea. You’re always so thoughtful.


29 Susan December 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm

What a great cause, thanks for bringing it to our attention!


30 Michelle December 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Gabrielle, I love what you are doing. I donated in my name…Michelle McCullough.


31 Ashley Reese December 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I am so excited about this cause and this book. We donated under my husband’s name, David Reese.


32 Ellen Overson December 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Thanks for sharing this with all of us Gaby. I spent endless hours during Christmas week 2 years ago as my hubby was fighting for his life. Saw first hand, the heart break everyone goes through when a child is suffering. I fund raise a lot for Dornebecker here in Portland…such joy it brings to ones heart.

I donated in name of Ellen Overson

Merry Christmas


33 Shannon { writer + editor } December 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm

What a wonderful idea, Gabrielle. I just donated in honor of my youngest, Lily, who underwent successful heart surgery when she was two. I’ll never forget the wonderful people who got her (and us) through that challenging time.


34 KJS December 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Thanks for the information and I donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Thinking of all the families spending the holidays, or any days, in the hospital with their children. I remember spending time there with my son in the NICU, and more recently my nephew. Glad they both received excellent care.
I donated in name Kirsten Suttner


35 Tabitha December 11, 2013 at 9:39 am

Great cause! Just donated under the name Tabitha Weiseth.


36 Steph December 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

I just donated under the name Roberts Family.
Great cause! I hope it helps some families have a less stressful hospital experience. Every little bit helps :)


37 Jill December 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

As a nurse who has worked many holidays in the pediatric ICU this post really spoke to me. I made a donation in my name in honor of all the kids and families who have gotten the kind of news no one should have to get during the holiday season.
Jill Anderson


38 Angela Noelle December 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I’ve just donated in the name Angela Noelle, all the way from New Zealand, so I can bear witness (/snicker at the expression) that you can do so from abroad.

What a sweet idea.


39 Rachel Faucett December 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I love the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I will also donate $5 dollars!


40 Tricia December 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Please tell your readers to be very careful! i chose the “other” box and wrote in $10.00, wanting to donate ten dollars. They took A THOUSAND! Now I can’t get ahold of anyone there (it is after hours, I realize) . Very upsetting!


41 Design Mom December 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Oh dear! I will forward your comment to my contact. I know it’s after work hours, but hopefully you will hear from them very soon. Thanks for letting me know, Tricia!


42 Tricia December 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thank you so much!


43 Tricia December 12, 2013 at 10:13 am

Great news! Angie was super helpful in helping us rectify the weird situtaion and my husband and I had a talk. Because of their kindness and understanding we’ve decided to increase our donation amount – a win win for everyone :)


44 sandra erle December 11, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I donated in my name. Thank you for the pin that led me here.


45 Jennifer December 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm

My baby who just turned 1 spent his first Christmas in the hospital on a ventilator with RSV. I’m so glad he won’t ever remember it, but I certainly will! My heart broke especially for those older kids I saw walking the halls on Christmas. Thank you so much for the reminder to give! I donated under Jennifer Ellingford. And if I don’t win a book I will have to find a copy – I have never heard of this book.


46 Danielle December 12, 2013 at 2:06 am

I was trying to think of something I could do to help someone else and then I ran across this link. An easy way to help a kid at Christmas. Thank you for sharing!


47 Jacqueline Ashby December 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

Hi Gabrielle! Thank you for drawing attention to this wonderful cause. I donated under the name Jacqueline Ashby. This book will be a great addition to our new little free library. Thank you for sharing!


48 Julia Moore December 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for the idea! Our daughter spent her first week of life in the NICU for meconium aspiration. We knew she’d be fine, but it was still hard and exhausting traveling back and forth to the hospital, especially right after an induced labor. It’s great that there is help for families who must handle so much more than we ever had to. I donated under my name: Julia Margaret Moore.


49 Lauren Stacey December 13, 2013 at 7:51 am

Donated under Lauren Stacey. I spent several months in our Women and Children’s hospital this summer with pregnancy complications. It was so hard on the whole family. I’ve noticed that many of the commenters also have personal experience with extended stays in the hospital. It feels good to give back in a small way.


50 Maria Piliero December 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

A great cause – thank you. My donation is under my name, Maria Piliero.


51 Jess DellaValla December 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Just donated under Jess DellaValla. Wish I could do more! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Good Health to all!


52 Christopher Rubal December 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Happy to support such a great cause! Thanks for sharing! Donated under my name.


53 Tania December 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Hi! Thank you for the reminder about contributing to a great cause! I donated under my name, Tania Sadoun.


54 Lisa December 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I just donated! Thanks for sharing.


55 Kim December 18, 2013 at 12:27 am

I donated under Kimberly Yu. Today I heard about the very sad case about the young girl at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland who is brain dead after complications while removing her tonsils. It’s heartbreaking.. I do believe it was a rare case and that CHORI is a great hospital though.


56 Alice C. December 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

Thank you for the idea of donating to CMN. I love this, Alice C. Lopez.


57 Christina December 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

What a great cause. I just donated under my name: Christina Simkanin. Thanks for posting this and I hope you and your family have a great holiday and a happy 2014!


58 Mollie December 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I donated under my name (Mollie Ewing) to Seattle Children’s Hospital where a very dear orchestra student of mine was treated (and cured!) of cancer. Always thankful for miracles ;)


59 Robyn Davie December 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to donate to a great cause :) Robyn Davie donated to Primary Children’s hospital


60 Christina C December 19, 2013 at 5:41 am

I live in CA and gifted to a non-local hospital (Salinas). I donate the whole kit and kaboodle of my entry to any one of your amazing readers who have commented here… As a second chance to win your generous offerings. Much love, Christina


61 kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS December 19, 2013 at 6:52 am

This is lovely and your eagerness to share your resources and follower base is a wonderful idea. Donated :)


62 Vanessa December 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

I donated in my name (Vanessa Pottinger) to a Canadian hospital in the network. (To do this, I had to go to the Canadian version of the site, with a slightly different url – http://www.holiday.childrensmiraclenetwork.ca.)

Thank you for encouraging people to support these hospitals; they care for the little ones who form and fill our hearts.


63 Lisa T December 21, 2013 at 7:22 am

I just donated, under Lisa T. Thanks so much for raising funds and awareness for this cause!


64 Lisa Townsend December 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

Sorry, correction to entry above, I donated under Lisa Townsend. Thanks again!


65 denise matuzak December 21, 2013 at 8:49 am

Sorry, donated under denise matuzak


66 janie December 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Donated under Catherine Brown


67 Mary M December 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Donated under Mary Mundal (or possibly Mary Reece…it was via paypal and didn’t give me the option to change anything).

I LOVE that you could choose which hospital to send it to! :)


68 Mercedes December 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Donated!!! Thank you!


69 Angie December 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Just donated in the name of my daughter!!


70 Luzy December 24, 2013 at 9:57 pm



71 Emily January 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Did you announce winners? I can’t find them anywhere!


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