Virtual Fundraising

Virtual Fundraising

In many ways, COVID-19 has changed everything about health care. That also means that it has changed everything about fundraising for a hospital like St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. In 2020, St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children  marked its 150th anniversary, celebrating its years of service as the first hospital in New York dedicated specifically to caring for critically ill children and children with complex medical needs. Galas, community gatherings and get-togethers have always been a major part of the community support and fundraising that keeps St. Mary’s Kids operating and thriving over the years.

However, with public health precautions and COVID-19 protections, our fundraising initiatives changed as well, and the community of people supporting St. Mary’s Kids showed incredible creativity and resilience in devising new forms of virtual fundraisers and online gatherings to bring people together in new ways, with safety, love, and fun. Individuals, groups, and organizations created virtual, online, peer-to-peer fundraisers, bringing all of the spirits of an in-person gathering to an online event.

Supporters of St. Mary’s Kids invited their friends, family members, and colleagues to join them in supporting the hospital. In some cases, they hosted online events, get-togethers, and holiday gatherings, using the power of video technology to keep their community connections alive and well despite the public health situation. In other cases, they used a personalized donation page to send out to their contacts, doing their own fundraising online for St. Mary’s and highlighting the issues that mattered to them most. Many supporters of St. Mary’s Kids combined both approaches to spread giving, love, and light during the holiday season.

The winter holidays and the turn of the year is a major time for giving for many people, especially as they consider children and families with complex medical needs at this time. While in other years, the holiday season often brings people together for family gatherings and in-person gift exchanges, including gifts of support for causes like St. Mary’s Kids, this year’s holiday fundraising had an online twist. Community partners of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children continued their holiday support for our work with virtual, peer-to-peer fundraisers.

Robert Heicklen, Melissa Coppola, and their friends support St. Mary’s Kids all year round, and they love to mark the holidays with giving and community support. In 2020, they raised $3,500 for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children with their online, virtual fundraisers that brought together their families, friends, and networks of contacts to come together differently for a great cause.

Mary Vagenas and Jeanine Prassos mark the holiday season every year by supporting St. Mary’s Kids through different forms of giving. This year, they brought together their community of friends, loved ones, and family members, raising over $10,000 in a holiday virtual fundraiser.

Virtual fundraising continues to be a great way to bring communities together while remaining safely distant and supporting important health care work at the same time. St. Mary’s Kids provides innovative therapies and rehabilitation programs for critically ill children and children with complex medical needs.

You can support St. Mary’s Kids all year round and even host your own virtual fundraiser. Please contact St. Mary’s Hospital for Children at to find out more about how you can bring your community together with an online fundraising project.

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