Children’s Miracle Network: 34 Years and Millions of Miracles Later

Photo courtesy of Children’s Hospital Colorado

The red and yellow hot air balloon stickers. You’ve probably seen them peppering the walls of your local grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, or hardware store — or on the walls of a children’s hospital you might have visited.

Maybe you stroll on by without giving them a second thought, maybe you add on the extra $.87 to round off your total at the checkout, or maybe you give more than that.

But have you ever stopped and really thought about what each of those balloons represents? Every day, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) treat 16,200 kids for trauma, 935 kids with diabetes, 2,128 for cancer, perform surgery on 2,329, and treat 925 babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Across North America, CMNH treat 32 million kids. As a nonprofit, the program depends on donations made by corporate partners — and people like you when you see those balloons. Right here in our state, Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of 170 hospitals in the CMNH network, and Children’s Colorado is nationally recognized as a top pediatric hospital providing best-in-class comprehensive care to kids in Colorado and surrounding states — and for its outstanding medical, research, education and advocacy programs.

Since it’s inception in 1983, CMNH have saved the lives of countless children. It all began when Marie Osmond, John Schneider, Mick Shannon and Joseph G. Lake organized a telethon 34 years ago, and raised nearly $5 million in the name of children’s hospitals.
Dairy Queen was one of the first corporate partners to join the cause in 1984, and their “Miracle Treat Day” tradition is a great way to treat yourself while giving to a great cause. Head over to a DQ on July 27 to enjoy a Blizzard and make your donation. See more details at:

By 1986, Miracle Balloons were introduced, thanks to Eleanor Lancey. She convinced O’Rourke’s Diner in Connecticut to sell the red and yellow paper balloons with “Children’s Hospital” emblazoned on the front, and the money would be a direct donation. Today, those balloons account for $88 million in donations annually.

Twenty-five years ago, RE/MAX International joined the cause, and has since raised over $128 million thanks to the work of “Miracle Agents.” Here in Boulder, RE/MAX of Boulder has been named a “Miracle Office” for donating a portion of each home sale to Children’s Hospital Colorado.

And in 2006, another delicious tradition was born, when IHOP developed the idea for National Pancake Day in March. Most people simply know that as the day you can gorge on free pancakes — but IHOP only asks for a donation to your local CMNH in return. Can’t ask for more than that.

Today, CMNH boast 97 corporate partners including Costco, ACE Hardware, Rite Aid, Marriott, Panda Express and Chevron; over 100 celebrity spokespersons; and billions of dollars raised. But the need for more donors like you never goes away.

Every minute, 62 children enter a CMNH, like Children’s Colorado — that’s one child every second of every day — possibly with their life on the line. The doctors, nurses, and staff at these pediatric hospitals are ready to perform miracles — are you ready to help them?

Click here to donate to Children’s Hospital Colorado, a CMNH right here in our backyard, and one of the leading pediatric hospitals nationally and internationally.