Niswonger Children’s Hospital benefits from excess fundraising out of state




JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – A Georgia-based volunteer group recently traveled to Johnson City to make Christmas brighter for patients at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. 

Santa’s Miracle Fund, an organization that typically provides Christmas parties and shopping for disabled children in Augusta, Ga., Macon, Ga., and Atlanta, had some leftover funds this year. They chose to travel to Johnson City on Friday, Dec. 17, to use those funds for a Christmas party for Niswonger Children’s Hospital patients.


Andrea Sisson, event planner, and James Joslyn, marketing director, both with Santa's Miracle Fund, help patients Taylor Honeycutt, 11, and Madysen Quay, 6, with their craft projects.

“Two years ago, we heard about the Niswonger Children’s Hospital, and that they were just moving into their new facility,” said Kathleen Thomas, assistant director for Santa’s Miracle Fund. “We are affiliated with the Georgia College and State University, and typically we do fundraising during the fall semester. We raised more money than anticipated, and this year we were given the opportunity to expand out of the state of Georgia, so we pursued the relationship with Niswonger Children’s Hospital.” Not only did the kids receive Christmas gifts, but they also got the chance to participate in crafts, with assistance from Santa’s Miracle Fund and Niswonger Children’s Hospital staff. 

“Santa’s Miracle Fund has provided an early Christmas with both crafts and gifts for the children,” said Joanna Swinehart, communications and outreach manager for the children’s hospital. Santa’s Miracle Fund began as a high school senior project in 2004. Since then, the fund has provided more than 140 disabled children and their siblings with Christmas gifts and events. The fund is now supported by more than 200 student volunteers. 

“I’m originally from Georgia, and it’s great to see this outreach expand to our area in Tennessee - areas they wouldn’t normally serve,” said Justine Jordan, child life specialist at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. “This helps with the children’s entire hospital stay, and they can participate in activities.” 

For more information about Santa’s Miracle Fund, visit



Back to News Listing