Have you ever had a child spend any time in the hospital? Psy was admitted for a couple of days right after his first birthday 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. In 2010, in an effort to help support them even more, LE hosted a MASSIVE giveaway to raise money and we ended up collecting over $400. In 2011, I wanted to do something again, but with Black Friday going on, I didn’t want to do another massive giveaway. So I started digging around and found out that Child’s Play hosts an annual Dinner Auction, where all the proceeds go towards buying even more for the various children’s hospitals. The auctioned items come from all over and anyone can donate items. So LE donated two canvas tote bags full of books and swag and the bags went for a total of $425.
For the third year, I sent two more bags full of books and swag to Bellevue, Washington where they were auctioned off to anyone who wanted to get their hands on them (for a price). The 2013 Annual Dinner Auction was held December 5th at the Meydenbauer Center, and yet again, included some really incredible auction items. And when they say some incredible auction items, they literally mean it. The bags were in fabulous company. Want to know what was in them?
Before I say anything else, I totally have to give a shout out to some fabulous authors 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 alone could do: Darynda Jones, Dianne Duvall, Gena Showalter, Jennifer Estep, Jess Haines, Larissa Ione, Michele Bardsley, Nalini Singh, Natalie J. Damschroder, Kimberly Derting, and Rachel Vincent.
So thank you thank you thank you thank you for being a part of the bags that were donated for the Child’s Play Annual Dinner Auction.
Now normally I post this prior to the auction to give everyone a peak at what they could get if they went; but this year the holidays got away from me and I’m a little late. Okay, a lot late. However this just means that I’m able to tell you what these two fabulous bags went for. I’m not sure what the breakdown is, but these two bags – the LE tote and the Batman/Marvel bag – sold at the auction for a combined total of $600. You heard that right…two individuals together paid $600 for these bags filled with these fabulous books:
|After Dark by Gena Showalter and Kait Ballenger (signed)||Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter (signed)|
|Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh||Blood Rights by Kristen Painter (signed)|
|Carniepunk (anthology)||Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep|
|Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima||Cursed by SJ Harper|
|Covet by JR Ward||Darklove by Elle Jasper|
|Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep||Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep|
|Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep||Eternal Sin by Laura Wright|
|Flamebound by Tessa Adams||Ever After by Kim Harrison|
|Forsaken by the Others by Jess Haines (signed)||Forsaken by the Others by Jess Haines (signed)|
|Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines (signed)||Gossamer Wing by Delphine Dryden|
|Laid Bare by Lauren Dane (signed)||Heavy Metal by Natalie Damschroder (signed)|
|Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep||IF-X: Dangerous Dames|
|Never Again by Michele Bardsley (signed)||Kinked by Thea Harrison|
|On Midnight Wings by Adrian Phoenix||Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep|
|Stonecast by Anton Strout||Nocturnal by Jess Haines (signed)|
|The Savage Dead by Joe McKinney||Now or Never by Michele Bardsley (signed)|
|The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Heiber||Quarantine by James Phelan|
|Under a Spell by Hannah Jayne||Shadow’s Curse by Alexa Egan|
|Under the Moon by Natalie Damschroder (signed)||Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh (signed)|
|Wild Darkness by Lauren Dane||Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance|
|Year of the Demon by Steve Bein||The Restorer by Amanda Stevens|
|There All Along by Lauren Dane & Megan Hart|
Just because the holiday season is over, it doesn’t mean Child’s Play is done fundraising until this fall. Oh no, they are still at it and are hoping to bypass what they raised in 2013 – a fantastic $7,600,000! There are all sorts of events that occur during the year to help raise money, and I may be a little behind, but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to help raise money.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get all of the books sent for the bags into the bags and off to the auction. Sad I know, but that means you guys can get a chance at them. I have signed copies of Soul Screamers Vol Two and Soul Screamers Vol Three by Rachel Vincent, Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting (it’s an ARC but it’s still signed), and Black and Blue by Gena Showalter and I’m going to give them away to four lucky readers.
In addition to these 4 books, I’ll include a random novel from my stock pile so each winner will receive 2 books as well as some signed swag I still have from the various conventions I attended last year. All you have to do to enter the contest is make a donation to Child’s Play.
For every dollar you donate, that’s how many entries you’ll receive: $1 = 1 entry, $10 = 10 entries, etc etc. You can donate by using the widget as a cash donation or go to the Child’s Play website and find a hospital near you. Search their amazon wishlists and send them a toy or two. The dollar entry works here too. If you send a $5 toy, you’ll get 5 entries.
To get your donation to count, you must email me a copy of your donation confirmation (minus all the things I don’t need to know) at jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com, using the subject line CHILD’S PLAY GIVEAWAY as well as filling out the form below. That’s it. The contest will run from February 1st to midnight on February 14th. You can donate as many times as you want, just don’t forget to email me your confirmation email.
We raised over $400 the first time I did a fundraising contest like this; and with the bags going for $600 at the auction, I’m wondering if we could raise $400 again so we could make it an even $1000 for the 2013. What do you say? Think we can do it? Let me add an incentive. During this giveaway, if we raise $400 or more, I’ll also include a signed copy of Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, to bring the total to 5 winners. Nicole and I will both be at her signing this weekend, so we can easily make that happen.
To help meet that goal, I’ll give an additional entry for each place you post about today’s contest – on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
Remember, the contest will stay open until February 14th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from this snazzy plug-in that I have.