GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In light of the coronavirus outbreak, one of the biggest fundraisers for the March of Dimes is changing to a virtual platform.
The annual March for Babies is held every spring, raising money to support the fight for healthy moms and babies.
In a statement, organizers explained:
"With onset of COVID-19 and the effect it is having on families in Michigan is truly devastating. With our medical system being tested as never before, it is imperative that we 'step up' the fight for healthy moms and strong babies. Even in the best of times, moms and babies rely on our programs, research, advocacy and health information every day. During this time of urgency given the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for March for Babies to Step Up! its support is even more critical. Babies can’t wait. Moms can’t wait. You can’t pause pregnancy. Moms and babies carry significant health risks, and the COVID-19 pandemic is putting more stress on a health care system that will be challenged to meet their needs. We need your help."
With the help of the Charity Miles app, organizers are encouraging participants to take pledges and complete walks at home and in their neighborhoods.
Ginger Feldman, executive director of market development told FOX 17, “The decision to end the live, in-person event was bad. We love connecting with our teams and all of our graduate NICU babies, all of our nurses. We are planning an August celebration in person, hopefully we will be able to have it, and also just to allow us all to get back together and re-connect at the end of all of this. But for right now, we’re going to do our own little walking events, in our own little homes, with our own little ‘quaran-teams.'"
She added, “We are still very much looking and active during this whole COVID-19 piece. We’re supporting our partners, our nurses and our doctors and all of the friends we have in the March of Dimes community. But also educating moms, pregnant moms, supporting mental health and all kind of material is being produced right now.”
To learn more about the virtual event or to sign up, head to marchforbabies.org.