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 it 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, and that’s pretty awesome considering all the other items that were auctioned off.
Each year since, I’ve been donating two bags full of the books – in 2012 they went for $325 and in 2013 they went for a whooping $600 (you can see all the fabulous items here). This year will be no different. LE is going to be donating two tote bags full of books for the 2014 Annual Dinner Auction, which will be held on December 4th at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington. Want to see the fabulous bags I’ve put together for this year? Just think…if you were going to the auction, you could get your hands on one of these bags.
|Marvel Tote Bag||LE Canvas Tote Bag|
|A Shiver of Light by Laurell K Hamilton (Merry Gentry)||A Shiver of Light by Laurell K Hamilton (Merry Gentry)|
|Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #7)||A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman|
|Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter (Angels of the Dark #2)||Cast in Sorrow by Michelle Sagara (Chronicles of Elantra #9)|
|Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett (Roaring Twenties #1)||Generation 18 by Keri Arthur (Spook Squad #2)|
|Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (A Hidden Legacy #1)||Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden (Steam and Seduction)|
|Burning Dawn by Gena Showalter (Angels of the Dark #3)||Guarded by Mary Behre (Tidewater #2)|
|Carniepunk (Anthology) – signed||Heart Fire by Robin D. Owens (Celta)|
|Celtic Fire by Alex Archer (Rogue Angel #50)||Honor’s Price by Alexis Morgan (Warriors of the Mist)|
|Ghost Layer by Robin D. Owens (Ghost Seer)||Incarnate by Anton Strout (Spellmason Chronicle #3)|
|Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett (Roaring Twenties #2)||Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (Magic Ex Libris #1)|
|Mist by Susan Krinard (Midgard)||Night Shift by Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews|
|Night’s End by Yasmine Galenorn (Indigo Court Novel #5)||Pagan Eyes: Initiation by Rayna Noire|
|Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison (the Elder Races)||Priestess Dreaming by Yasmine Galenorn (Otherworld )|
|Queen of Wands by Katee Robert (Sanctify)||Revenant by Kat Richardson (Greywalker)|
|Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh (Psy/Changeling #13)||Righteous Fury by Markus Heitz|
|The City by Stella Gemmell||Silent Night by C.J. Kyle|
|The Golden Princess by S. M. Stirling (Change Series)||The Good Chase by Hanna Martine (Highland Games #2)|
|The King by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)||The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle (Harmony #11)|
|Unbinding by Eileen Wilks (World of the Lupi)||The Winter King by C. L. Wilson|
|Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter (Angels of the Dark #1)||To Dance With the Devil by Cat Adams (Blood Singer)|
|Wolf’s Fall by J.D. Tyler (Alpha Pack)||Undead and Unwary by MaryJanice Davidson|
|Vipers Run by Stephanie Tyler (Skulls Creek)|
|Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake (A Baba Yaga #2)|
Update 1/21/15: Check it out! The LE Child’s Play? bags at the Auction! The bags went for a combined total of $550 last month – the Marvel tote went for $250 and the LE tote went for $300. I’m so excited for that. If you want to see all the fabulous items at the 2014 auction last month, you can see the full gallery here.