SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The coronavirus has forced every nonprofit throughout the country to figure out ways to find support during a crippling pandemic. Despite that, our area Children’s Miracle Network hospital, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier, said it has seen a lot of interest in one of its biggest fundraising campaigns.
The program has had to switch gears on its Miracle Tour cycling ride. Margo Clendenin, program director for our area Children’s Miracle Network hospital, said she made a change to a virtual ride this year.
“COVID slows things down for some folks, but not for the hospitals and not for our kids,” said Clendenin. “We still want to get families out there. We still want to get people doing their healthy activities and healthy ways. But for this year, we’re going to encourage you to do it with your group of folks.”
The tour will look less like an organized ride outside Haughton High School and instead will ask riders to sign up, be part of the tour and ride on their own throughout the month of October.
“We love getting out there and riding and I’m sad that we won’t be able to. I’m so excited that sponsors are returning, people are registering. From Day One, people have started to register for the virtual event, which is awesome. I think people realize at the end of the day it’s here to help local kids.”
Dr. Surinder Tank has cared for some of the most precious babies in Shreveport-Bossier City through the CHRISTUS Highland neonatal intensive-care unit. He has seen firsthand how specialized equipment, bought through funds raised during Miracle Tour, can make a difference in the way these babies can be treated.
Tank has signed up for another year of riding with his family in the tour.
“In this difficult time, the need for taking care of babies hasn’t changed and the needs are ever growing. I recommend everyone get out there with their friends and family, whether they are avid bikers or beginners. Go out and do it for a good cause.”
The Miracle Tour raised $50,000 last year, which will go toward buying ventilators for the hospital’s NICU unit.
“We live in a very generous community. Get out there. Have you events. If you have to change them to be virtual to work with the current climate, do it because people want to participate and people want to help.”
The tour will run from Oct. through Nov. 3. Registration will cost $10-$20. You can sign up here.