About the WHAS Crusade for Children

The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc. established in 1954 by WHAS-TV, raises money for agencies, schools and hospitals to make life better for children with special needs.


of donations go to children


Million dollars raised


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Counties in Indiana and Kentucky


Years Running

June 3 - 4, 2023
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Thursday, July 28, 2022 / Published in Crusade Agencies, Crusade Donors, Crusade Events, Crusade History

The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown published this editorial on July 16, 2022.

Crusade’s legacy of caring continues

July 16, 2022

The WHAS Crusade for Children has developed a lasting trust with the community through its efficient distribution of money donated to serve agencies, schools and hospitals which serve children with special needs.

The 69th Crusade collected $5,133,684.69 and roughly one month later every penny was being dispensed for its intended purpose.

The Crusade is charity in its truest form. It uses none of the donated money for overhead, expenses or operating of the telethon. It expects the same from grant applicants, telling them clearly that Crusade dollars are for direct services only. No grants are awarded to cover general operating funds or administrative needs.

The full list of 216 grants, available for public scrutiny at whascrusade.org, is impressive. It ranges from university-directed programming to hospital care and includes an array of social service agencies, nonprofits and school-based initiatives.

Locally, the largest Hardin County grant was $85,000 for the Baptist Health Foundation Hardin. Area hospitals are frequent beneficiaries of the Crusade. The neonatal intensive care unit in Elizabethtown is one of the most obvious Crusade blessings in recent decades, but the history of area hospitals are filled with stories of Crusade kindness.

Crusade grants also support special initiatives aimed at inclusion such as the Rachel’s Fun for Everyone Project. The playground at Optimist Park in Vine Grove received continued support from the Crusade. The current expansion plan, which will add a splash pad, secured $15,000 from the Crusade to go toward shade structures.

“I am extremely grateful for the continued partnership with the Crusade and it’s amazing all the good work they are able to do for the children in our community,” organizer and recent high school graduate Rachel Ritchie said.

Other local contributions on this year’s grant list were Hardin County Schools special education department, $50,000; Hosparus Health, $40,000; Meade County Schools, $25,000; Sunrise Children’s Services, $12,000; CASA of the Heartland, $10,500; Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky, $7,000; Camp TESSA, $6,000; Boy Scouts of America, Lincoln Heritage Council, $5,825; and LaRue County Public Schools, $3,000.

Thanks to the generosity from residents across the region, devotion of local fire departments and several significant major fundraising efforts including the LG&E and KU Foundation and Archdiocese of Louisville.

The WHAS Crusade for Children has raised more than $205 million for children with special needs since 1954. Next year’s telethon is June 3 and 4 but you can donate any time to the Crusade through its the secure website at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/wcfc or by calling 502-582-7706.

The Crusade truly is a unique program and a blessing to all it touches throughout the region it calls Kentuckiana.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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We crusade for them.

In its first 69 years, the WHAS Crusade for Children has raised more than $205 million. Thanks to generous contributions of goods and services, the WHAS Crusade is able to return 100% of all donations to organizations that make life better for children with special needs in all 120 Kentucky counties and 50 southern Indiana counties. Fire departments raise more than 50 percent of the money each year by staging road blocks and other events.

Community Partners

WHAS Crusade for Children

520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202
502.582.7706 Phone
502.582.7712 Fax