Jun 20, 2019

Students volunteer on Kids Day

Juan Villa / The Collegian

About 700 students participated, collected more than $23,000

A cool winter breeze blows down Shaw Avenue as people in blue vests line every corner, waiting for rush hour traffic. It is 7 a.m. and kids, parents, students and volunteers around the Valley are selling newspapers to people on their way to work.

The goal is $360,000, but the mission is to help Children’s Hospital Central California.

“I’ve been doing Kids Day for two years now,� Jenelle Langlois, president of the Organization for Physical Therapy Students, said.
“It is a blast. We get to dodge cars at five in the morning and sell a lot of papers!�

Kids Day is a joint effort between ABC-30 and The Fresno Bee. Every year on March 20, people line the streets and sell special editions of The Fresno Bee for a dollar, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Children’s Hospital Central California.

“It is important for us to give back to Valley Children’s Hospital,� Vice President of the Geography Club Erika Antonio said. “My sister and brother were both born premature and had to stay in the hospital for two months each, so I know the benefits that Valley Children’s provides to the community.�

Antonio has helped out with Kids Day since high school, but has been involved with many charities benefiting Children’s Hospital Central California.

“Our first customer gave us $20 and told us to keep the change,� Antonio said.

In the 20 years since it began, Kids Day has generated more than $2.5 million for the hospital.

“I love seeing the expressions on people’s faces,� Jumpstart Fresno member Jennifer Lucas said. “We have a really fun time.
Jumpstart has been doing this for quite some time and I just love being a part of it.�

Micheline Golden, spokesperson for Children’s Hospital Central California, said Fresno State’s support is very significant to the success of Kids Day.

“We never really know how many volunteers we will have in the community, but we know there are thousands of them,� Golden said. “However, we don’t reserve corners for anyone in town, except students at Fresno State.�

In order to claim corners along Cedar and Shaw avenues, members of Delta Sigma Phi arrived at their spots as early as 3 a.m. to prevent other organizations from taking them.

“There is always a bit of friendly competition going on,� Delta Sigma Phi member Adam Ellis said. “There isn’t anything direct, but we do like to see who can sell the most papers. Last year, we were in the top 10, so we were happy with that.�

Geography Club member Anna Tompkins said the trick to getting people to buy papers isn’t just location, but to repeatedly hit the buttons at the crosswalk. That way, when people are stopped at the light, they are more inclined to make a purchase.

“I try to look as sad as possible,� Delta Sigma Phi member Nathan Kornreich said. “Then, show people the sad little kid’s face on the cover of the paper and you’re all set. I probably have $100 in my pocket already.�

Other Fresno State students are helping out because of their course requirements.

Randy Gates is a student in Kinesiology 157, an adaptive physical education course. Each semester, students have to do an initiative project in the community.

“Some of us sell papers at Kids Day, some do other things,� Gates said. “This was my first year doing this and it has been a lot of fun. If you just have a smile on your face and don’t get in the way of traffic, people are really friendly. I’d definitely to this again next year.�

But the important thing for everyone involved is to help out the kids.

“Our organization does a lot of community service activities, but this is one of them I really enjoy,� Ellis said. “It all goes towards a really good cause. We get to have fun and be together, but it benefits the community, too.�

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