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Former Rite Aid Employee Gets Creative for Valley Children’s Hospital

Published on Dec. 16, 2020

When Mary Basler sets her mind on something, she can go nonstop, regardless of any physical discomfort she might be enduring. To her, getting creative and giving back to her community gives her healing, joy and fulfillment.  

Mary’s former employer, Rite Aid in Chowchilla was just named the number one fundraising Rite Aid store in the Central Valley during the 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) campaign. A large part of their success was due to Mary’s efforts in creating her handmade crafts and selling them for donations to the CMNH campaign.

Mary worked at the Rite Aid store in Chowchilla for 23 years until illness set in. She developed a case of rheumatoid arthritis that caused severe hand pain. As a cashier, she made sure to ask every customer if she or he wanted to donate to Valley Children’s Hospital because she knew every dollar raised stayed local to help children in her community. Although Mary left her job at Rite Aid, it didn’t stop her from continuing to be creative.

Year round, Mary sews and sells a variety of items, including kitchen aprons, pot holders, diaper bags, BBQ mittens, shoulder bags, school backpacks, teddy bear shirts, casserole dish carriers, and this year, of course: masks! Since COVID-19 hit, Mary has sold more than 2,000 masks. She said, “God gave me the gift, I might as well use it for a good cause.” Her husband, Marvin, helps Mary sell her crafts and together they have raised $40,190 for Rite Aid’s CMNH campaign since 2012. This year was their largest gift yet of $10,500, contributed to the Chowchilla Rite Aid’s CMNH campaign.

Raising money for Valley Children’s Hospital was also personal to Mary. When her granddaughter Susana was in utero, medical professionals discovered cysts in her ovaries. Immediately after birth, Valley Children’s surgeons drained the fluid from the newborn’s cysts. It was a critical procedure because had her condition not been discovered early, doctors say it could have impeded Susana’s ability to have children in the future. Now 20 years old, Susana aspires to becoming a medical technician one day.

Susana’s future is just one of many thousands of futures that Valley Children’s fights for every day. It is for children like her that Rite Aid raises funds through CMN Hospitals. This year, 38 Central Valley Rite Aid stores and the Rite Aid Foundation contributed $138,392 to Valley Children’s Hospital. Through its 26-year partnership with CMNH, Rite Aid has surpassed $100 million dollars in lifetime giving and has donated an astounding $765,354 to Valley Children’s Hospital.

We extend our deepest gratitude to Mary and Marvin Basler, and Rite Aid for their incredible generosity!