sick children

Robin Woodward, CMN director, explains to Ron Gaiser how Kiwanis members can help sick children.

Courtesy of Phyllis Belcher

Improving the lives of children is a major concern for Kiwanis International as well as the local club in Tehachapi. Members were especially interested in  learning about Children's Miracle Network, which provides treatment and hospitalization for children at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.

Robin Woodward is the Children's Miracle Network director at the hospital and she spoke about the benefits CMN provides. She is in charge of fundraising for the organization and works with various clubs and groups in planning events. While CMN is a national organization, all the money raised in Kern County stays here for local children.

Memorial Hospital houses the Lauren Small Children's Center, which cares for 28,000 children every year. Woodward told stories of many children who suffered illnesses or accidents and received help and healing. No child is turned away even if their families cannot pay.

The funds raised by CMN pay for needed supplies for the hospital such as tiny diapers for premature babies, small blood pressure cuffs, wheelchairs and other medical devices. It also provides facilities for parents of sick children such as sleeping chairs and overnight lodging for those living in outlying areas.

CMN is a Kiwanis International preferred charity. Clubs in Bakersfield have had events to raise funds to ensure children's hospitals have the resources they need. After hearing the presentation by Robin Woodward, the Tehachapi Club is inspired to contribute to the funding efforts.

Kiwanis meets each Wednesday at noon at the Police Department Community Room. Guests and prospective members are always welcome. Call Ron Gaiser at 823-4848 for more information.

Phyllis Belcher is a longtime Tehachapi resident, and is involved in various volunteer organizations.