Welcome to the Ethan & Choco’s Book Club (ECBC) blog. We’re so excited to be getting this launched, especially because so far we’ve only been able to reach family and friends on Facebook. This space will be used to share Ethan’s Daily Book Look videos, as well as updates and news related to progress we are making with ECBC. Please click the “follow” button on the right hand side if you’d like to receive email notifications when new posts are published. And we’d really appreciate it if you would share this blog with as many people as you can so we can spread the word and build more support!
ECBC officially became a new MaxLove Project program in the fall of 2015. The MaxLove Project is an amazing nonprofit organization that helps Superkids thrive against cancer and life-threatening conditions with programs and resources that support lifelong healthy survivorship. ECBC’s mission is to help kids thrive through treatment and beyond by making access to books and reading a core part of the care that SuperKids receive in the hospital. Our goal is to build a fantastic library for patients at CHOC Children’s in Orange County, to implement high-quality read-aloud programming, and to provide additional reading-based and educational experiences that help them think, learn, and connect with others. You can click here to learn more and click here to read the story behind the founding of ECBC. Here’s a quick overview of key progress that we’ve made in the first few months since launching ECBC:
- Summer 2015. The kids’ held a lemonade stand last summer before Ethan & Choco’s Book Club officially came to be, and they were proud to be the first to donate money to the program.
- 10.14.15. ECBC was announced at the First Annual MaxLove Project Farm to Fork Dinner. ECBC was on the pledge card as an option for donation, and it was really cool to see our vision and dream for the hospital officially printed on MaxLove materials.
- 11.23.15. We launched the ECBC fundraising website, with an initial goal of 10K for phase 1 of the program.Click here to watch Ethan’s launching video, and Click here to check out the site, donate, or start your own fundraising team.
- 12.04.15. Susie, the wonderful owner of Tustin’s local children’s bookstore Once Upon a Storybook, became ECBC’s first community supporter. She started a book donation basket for ECBC at the store’s front desk, and customers have been donating books ever since. In months of January and February, ECBC received approximately 100 books from her customers. We are so grateful for this collaboration!
12.16.15. Just three weeks after we initiated fundraising efforts, we hit our initial goals of $10,000!! Ninety-eight percent of these donations came from family and friends, whom we are so grateful for in helping us to get started! We also received an official and enthusiastic green light from CHOC Children’s to move forward with ECBC at the hospital, and we upped our phase 1 fundraising goal to $20,000. And, that day we created and launched a Facebook page for ECBC. Click here to view the green light video and here to visit ECBC’s Facebook page.
- 12.30.15. We transferred most of the funds raised thus far for ECBC to the CHOC Foundation at the hospital to start a fund for ECBC with Child Life. This helps to create a more formal collaboration between ECBC and hospital, will allow for easier purchasing of items and execution of projects, and opens up donation possibilities to donors who want to give directly to the hospital.
- 1.1.16. We launched Ethan’s 2016 Daily Book Look Challenge — which is Ethan’s commitment to make (and post) a video plea for a specific book title for EVERY day of 2016 (click here for Book Look launching video). We also created a wish list on Amazon of books that we want donated to the library. Every day since January 1, we have shared videos on social media asking for a specific. A link is always published to the Amazon wish list, so that potential donors can click on the link, select a book to purchase, and it will be sent directly to ECBC. Despite side effects from daily chemo and often not feeling week at night, and despite numerous nights when Mom and Dad have wanted him in bed rather than attempting yet another video take, Ethan is committed to his goal and has thus far made and shared 70 Book Look videos. Check out the collection of Book Look videos here!
- 03.02.16. We received confirmation from CHOC Hospital that we have secured a great space at the hospital for the Ethan and Choco’s Book Club library! This space is a larger starter space than we expected…so now we really need to step up our book donations!!
- Here are a few special videos that we’ve posted in the past couple of months: (1) videos from January 15, January 30, and March 1 with thank you messages to our book donors; (2) a special read-aloud done by Ethan on World Read Aloud Day; and (3) another special read aloud by Ethan on Read Across America day as well as the announcement we we officially received a library space at CHOC.
Please help us get phase 1 implemented in the hospital by this summer by donating books, money, or sharing this page with your community! We are so committed to creating a fantastic library program at CHOC Children’s that will hopefully someday become a model for libraries at children’s hospitals across the country!