Have you ever had a child spend any time in the hospital? Psy was admitted for a couple of days earlier this fall and I can tell you it’s not fun. He was so miserable and it wasn’t until we were able to go play with the toys the hospital had that he really started to feel better. I can tell you, watching him ride a car ramp like a bucking bronco with a huge smile on his face totally made up for the fact that he was hooked up to a bunch of tubes.
No matter the age of the child, it’s never easy to be or have a child in the hospital; and not having something to keep their mind off of everything going on can make the whole situation worse. Having toys and other forms of entertainment in a pediatric wing is essential to the child’s well-being and it is only because of donations that this can happen. Those toys don’t just show up out of thin air and that is what makes Child’s Play my favorite charity. I can tell you, after spending those few short days with Psy in the hospital has made me appreciate Child’s Play even more.
In my opinion, the part that puts Child’s Play above and beyond any other is the fact that their administrative costs are practically nothing and all donations go to where they are needed – the children. The way Child’s Play works is:
Since 2003, we’ve set up and organized Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 70 hospitals worldwide. Over the years, you as a community have answered the call and come together to raise millions of dollars.
Child’s Play works in two ways. With the help of hospital staff, we set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. By clicking on a hospital location on our map, you can view that hospital’s wish list and send a gift.
Child’s Play also receives cash donations throughout the year. With those cash donations, we purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities. These donations allow for children to enjoy age-appropriate entertainment, interact with their peers, friends, and family, and can provide vital distraction from an otherwise generally unpleasant experience.
Every year, I donate something to Child’s Play regardless of our situation. Knowing that every penny I spend is going to those who need it, makes worth it to me. Last year, in an effort to help support them even more, LE hosted a MASSIVE giveaway to raise money and we ended up collecting over $300. This year, I wanted to do something again, but wasn’t sure what. I could’ve done the giveaway again, but I already have something in the works for this holiday season. So I started digging around and found something interesting about their annual Dinner Auction.
Did you know that anyone could send in something to be auctioned off? All the proceeds from the auction go towards buying even more for the various children’s hospitals and the auctioned items come from all over. Once I found that out, I quickly contacted the powers that be and found out that even little old me could donate something to be used in the auction. And that’s what LE is doing.
This year, I’ve loaded up two LE canvas tote bags full of books and swag and will be sending them off to Bellevue, Washington where they will be auctioned off to anyone who wants to get their hands on them (for a price). The Annual Dinner Auction will take place on December 8th at the Meydenbauer Center and will include an evening of good food, fun, and really incredible auction items. And when they say some incredible auction items, they literally mean it. If any of the past items are any indication of what one could expect this year, then the bags will be in some awesome company. Want to know what’s in the bags?
Before I say anything else, I totally have to give a shout out to some fabulous authors and bloggers who have contributed to the bags for this fantastic cause. It’s because of these great people that the bags became more than what I was envisioning:
Angie Fox, Donna Grant, I Smell Sheep, Jennifer Estep, Romance Book Craze, Laura Bickle/Alayna Williams, Leanna Renee Hieber, Marsheila Rockwell, Marta Acosta, Meljean Brooks, Nancy Holder, Nancy Holzner, PJ Schnyder, Savvy Verse & Wit, Sharon Ashwood, Shiloh Walker and Yasmine Galenorn
|Bag #1||Bag #2|
|Angels of Darkness (signed by Meljean Brooks)||A Tale of Two Demon Slayers by Angie Fox (signed)|
|Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh||A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day|
|Bloodstone by Nancy Holzner (signed)||Bite (Anthology)|
|Conan by Michael Stackpole||Bloodstone by Nancy Holzner (signed)|
|Dead Mann Walking by Stefan Petrucha||Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy|
|Die Hexe? (German edition of Witchling) by Yasmine Galenorn (signed)||Duchess by Night by Eloisa James (signed)|
|Dragon Fate by EE Knight||Haunted by Your Touch (Anthology)|
|Element Zero by James Knapp||Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta (signed)|
|Grave Dance by Kalayna Price||Heart of Steel by Meljean Brooks (signed)|
|Grave Expectations by Sherri Browning Erwin||Hulk vs X-Force by Jeph Loeb|
|Moon Called Vol 1 by Patricia Briggs||In Memories We Fear by Barb Hendee|
|Must Love Hellhounds (Anthology)||Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson|
|On the Prowl (Anthology)||Kris Longknife: Daring by Mike Shepherd|
|Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint||Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay|
|Rampant by Saskia Walker (signed)||Mecha Corps by Brett Patton|
|Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason||Myth-Fortunes by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye|
|Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams||Play of Passion by Nalini Singh|
|Shalador’s Lady by Anne Bishop||Road Less Traveled by Cris Ramsay|
|Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin||Sexiest Vampire Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks|
|Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep (signed)||Sparks by Laura Bickle (signed)|
|Terminal World by Alastair Renolds||Steelflower by Lilith Saintcrow|
|The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox||Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep (signed)|
|The Battle Sylph by LJ McDonald||The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason|
|The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney||The Book of the Living Dead edited by Jon Richard Stephens|
|The Shard Axe by Marsheila Rockwell (signed)||The Clone Redemption by Steven Kent|
|The Werewives of Vampire County (signed by Angie Fox)||The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers by Angie Fox (signed)|
|Time Caster by Joe Kimball||The Hollow Crown by Diana Pharaoh Francis|
|Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks||The Shattered Sylph by LJ McDonald|
So what do you think? I think I got a little carried away when I started stuffing the bags. Oh well, that’s what happens when one decides to purge their library and realize they have a lot of unread novels sitting on their shelves and a charity that could use them. If you want to get your hands on either of these bags, then you need to go to the Child’s Play Annual Dinner Auction on December 8th, at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington.
To thank these fabulous authors and bloggers, I am so going back on what I said above and we’re going to have a contest. In addition to the signed books they sent for the bags, I also received quite a bit of swag and I think I need to share it. Okay, so maybe just having a swag contest isn’t all that great, but what if I included a signed copy of the Enthralled: Paranormal Divisions anthology, signed by all seven of the authors that were in Lansing, Michigan? Child’s Play is a childs charity, so what better prize than a young adult novel full of fabulous stories, right?
Giveaway is now closed
Update 10/28/12: As I was preparing the post for this years bag donation, I went looking through the Dinner Auction 2011 – Items & Auction album to see what was donated last year and found this – it’s the LE Bags! There they are, sitting pretty on one of the many tables at the Meydenbauer Center. There were some fabulous items donated last year and I’m still excited to see that Le was included among them. For those curious, I did find out how much the bags went for during the auction. Each were auctioned off separately and one went for $210 and the other for $215. Considering both of those bags were filled with brand new books, some even signed, I’d say that was a pretty good deal.