Cultivating A Life Well Grown

How WHAS 11 Crusade For Children Changed Our Life

In the Kentuckiana area Crusade For Children is a staple for our communities especially more prominent in the summer months.  You may recognize Crusade For Children by seeing local fire departments hosting dinners, events, going door to door with the firetrucks to collect money in their boots, and especially this time of year usually you will see people from every department standing at stop signs or stop lights collecting money for the kids with their bright yellow shirts on carrying their black boots around.  

Many locals have wondered ‘where are the firetrucks?’ And ‘will they be coming door to door this year?’.  Unfortunately with COVID-19 Pandemic occurring this will not be allowed so they have innovated a way to still donate in our community.  A few major firehouses in the area have decided to open a drive through donation area.  

You can donate by check, cash, coins, online at, Text CRUSADE to 50155, Venmo @crusadeforchildren, Cash App $CrusadeChildren, PayPal WHAS Crusade for Children, Alex “Alexa donate to the crusade for children...”

This year will be the 67th annual WHAS Crusade For Children event, at the end of each year fire departments will drive their trucks to the local high school on turn in day and present all of the money they have collected for the which can be viewed on  This years dates are August 8th and 9th. Be sure to check it out! 

You may ask ‘what is WHAS Crusade For Children?’ WHAS Crusade For Children was established in 1954 by WHAS-TV raising money for agencies, schools, and hospitals to make life better for children with special needs.  100% of the donations goes to the children!!  Over the years 190 million dollars have been raised, millions of children helped, 170 counties in Indiana and Kentucky.  

You also may ask me personally, ‘why does Crusade For Children matter so much to you?’  In high school I started on our local hometown fire department in Bagdad, Crusade For Children quickly became part of me.  This was an event I volunteered for every day and event possible, many hours spent helping ‘do it for the kids’.  Although I am no longer on the department Crusade still holds a huge place in my heart.  

In August of 2017, I went into labor a month early with my first son. We were told quickly that he may need to be in the NICU due to being early and many pre mature babies have medical issues that need extra care.  Waylon did great the first 24 hours of life and then his temperature started to slowly decline and we are very blessed that that is the worst thing that was ‘wrong’ with him.  That is when the NICU staff realized we needed to admit little baby Waylon.  Here we were in a tiny room in the NICU full of the unknown unlike the story of a typical childbirth.  We didn’t get the experience of being able to take our baby home on the second day, or hold him all night long if we wanted.  Waylon’s new temporary home was the Giraffe incubator, only being able to hold him minutes at a time.

Sitting in a room feeling helpless of the dark unknown, you start observing and noticing details even more so.  One night I was looking at Waylon and saw the little golden plate fixed to his Giraffe Incubator and read the words “Donated by WHAS Crusade For Children”.  That’s the moment Crusade For Children meant a lot more to me than just “it’s for the kids” event I participated in every year at the fire department and now A HOME AWAY FROM HOME for my sweet newborn baby. That gave me comfort and peace knowing I had donated money and time into an organization that literally helps children and families like it helped mine.  Whether it is school upgrades or hospital equipment, it is all important for these children with ‘special needs’.  

Every year I encourage families and friends to donate what they can to Crusade For Children as I know what it has done for me and my family.  Crusade For Children has also donated several thousand of dollars in our hometown county to schools which I am sure many parents don’t recognize.  Currently, Crusade For Children is able to help out 1 out of every 3 children in need, lets all strive to make this 3 out of every 3 children in need.  

Every time I share the story of Waylon and how Crusade For Children has effected him and where he is today I always get questions, ‘And how is Waylon today?’, we always reply, “We couldn’t be happier and healthier!”... Waylon is now doing fantastic and for that we are so grateful for! 

Crusade For Children asked us to participate in their Telethon program in December, CLICK THIS LINK to watch our WHAS 11 News story.  

Sophia & Waylon 

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