Little Heroes Program

    Purpose:
    To develop a relationship between Fresno State student-athletes and Children's Hospital of the Central Valley (primarily out-patients).

  • Children
    1. Increase self-esteem
    2. Establish role models
    3. Increase support system

  • Student-Athletes
    1. Increase self-esteem
    2. Enhance educational experience
    3. Increase support system

    The Little Heroes program is run by a volunteer committee of the Rotary International Club of Fresno. It is a program through which seriously ill children (Little Heroes) are paired with Fresno State student-athletes (Big Heroes) for some quality time once each month. The activities include pizza, bowling, Valentine's party, pumpkin carving, Christmas party, petting zoo and an evening at Rotary Playland.

    When Little Heroes began, there were only a dozen children participating in one event each year. Today, the number of participants has grown to over 40 children and approximately 80 student-athletes with six fun-filled events throughout the year. Now each Little Hero is paired with two Big Heroes in order to ensure that at least one student-athlete is available for each child.

    Many of the participants are from the oncology unit of Valley Children's Hospital and these children look forward to their visits with their Big Hero. Due to their treatment regimen, many of these children cannot attend school and consequently, their only contact is with parents and hospital staff. Little Heroes allows them to share time with their athlete Big Hero and just enjoy being with each other.

    The student-athletes thank us for giving them the opportunity to participate in the program and allowing them the opportunity to give of themselves to their Little Hero. There is never a shortage of student-athlete volunteers which says a great deal about the caliber of our student-athletes. Even with demanding academic schedules, practices and game travel time, the student-athletes make the commitment so our Little Heroes can have a wonderful experience.

    If you would like to be a volunteer in this program, donate, sponsor or elect a Little Hero candidate, please contact:
    Quinton Freeman CHAMPS/Lifeskills Coordinator 559-278-4860

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