St. Anthony’s Pumps Things Up for Children’s Miracle Network

St. Anthony's School

St. Anthony's School presents a check for $9,500 to the Kapiolani Children's Miracle Network April 13, capping six weeks of fundraising and other projects to support and cheer up the ailing keiki under the hospital's care. Photo from Patti Almirez of Kapiolani's development office.

There are miracles, and then there are miracles.

The students at St. Anthony’s School surprised themselves with how well they did to raise support for Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network (KCMN).

It started with a book drive in February for the Honolulu children’s hospital and blossomed into a variety of projects and experiences that helped them understand how difficult it is to be young and sick at the same time. In the end, all 400 students at the Kailua school were able to raise $9,500 (mostly one dollar at a time), present 1,700 books to the young patients, and make and deliver 16 blankets accompanied by personal get-well cards.

“It’s so heart-warming to see how kids want to give back,” said Donna Otto, mother of third-graders Blake and Carson who, along with older brother Devin, were all born prematurely. They spent months at Kapiolani in the newborn intensive care unit.

“Blake and Carson were so enthusiastic and happy to help,” she added. “Our family understands the importance of supporting Kapiolani because we learned firsthand that the child you help might be your own.”

For the book drive, the students also wrote get-well wishes in each book, and shared them with families in the ER, imaging and surgery department as well as cancer patients under treatment or in intensive care. “This is a good book and I want you to have it so you feel better,” wrote one student.

In its Miracle Makers for Sick Keiki story project, dozens of students wrote of how they or someone they loved was helped at the hospital. The stories were displayed at the school to inspire the Miracle campaign.

But according to KCMN director Stacey Acma, it was the St. Anthony kids who were the true inspiration. “By identifying others in need and working together,” she said, “they have shown the power of true aloha for the less fortunate … I am deeply touched.”