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 Childrenâ€™s Hospital Central California.
â€œIâ€™ve been doing Kids Day for two years now,â€? Jenelle Langlois, president of the Organization for Physical Therapy Students, said.
â€œIt is a blast. We get to dodge cars at five in the morning and sell a lot of papers!â€?
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 Childrenâ€™s Hospital Central California.
â€œIt is important for us to give back to Valley Childrenâ€™s Hospital,â€? Vice President of the Geography Club Erika Antonio said. â€œMy 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 Childrenâ€™s provides to the community.â€?
Antonio has helped out with Kids Day since high school, but has been involved with many charities benefiting Childrenâ€™s Hospital Central California.
â€œOur first customer gave us $20 and told us to keep the change,â€? Antonio said.
In the 20 years since it began, Kids Day has generated more than $2.5 million for the hospital.
â€œI love seeing the expressions on peopleâ€™s faces,â€? Jumpstart Fresno member Jennifer Lucas said. â€œWe have a really fun time.
Jumpstart has been doing this for quite some time and I just love being a part of it.â€?
Micheline Golden, spokesperson for Childrenâ€™s Hospital Central California, said Fresno Stateâ€™s support is very significant to the success of Kids Day.
â€œWe never really know how many volunteers we will have in the community, but we know there are thousands of them,â€? Golden said. â€œHowever, we donâ€™t reserve corners for anyone in town, except students at Fresno State.â€?
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.
â€œThere is always a bit of friendly competition going on,â€? Delta Sigma Phi member Adam Ellis said. â€œThere isnâ€™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.â€?
Geography Club member Anna Tompkins said the trick to getting people to buy papers isnâ€™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.
â€œI try to look as sad as possible,â€? Delta Sigma Phi member Nathan Kornreich said. â€œThen, show people the sad little kidâ€™s face on the cover of the paper and youâ€™re all set. I probably have $100 in my pocket already.â€?
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.
â€œSome of us sell papers at Kids Day, some do other things,â€? Gates said. â€œThis was my first year doing this and it has been a lot of fun. If you just have a smile on your face and donâ€™t get in the way of traffic, people are really friendly. Iâ€™d definitely to this again next year.â€?
But the important thing for everyone involved is to help out the kids.
â€œOur organization does a lot of community service activities, but this is one of them I really enjoy,â€? Ellis said. â€œIt all goes towards a really good cause. We get to have fun and be together, but it benefits the community, too.â€?