This weekend, volunteers gathered to assemble 112 Read Think Thrive bags, ECBC’s books bags that are delivered to every patient at CHOC Children’s Hospital in the days or weeks following a new cancer diagnosis. Each zippered canvas bag contains ten new, highly-quality books that are curated by the age and gender of the recipient, a generous stash of art supplies and literary crafting materials (e.g., blank books, blank comic books, blank bookmarks), a “Read Think Thrive Challenge” from Ethan to do a creative response to one of the books in the bag, a handwritten postcard and literary response from a non-cancer “Thrive Buddy” to motivate a creative thinking response to a book, and various other items such as a reading light, bookmark, and our collectible Book Bands. Since we have twelve different age X gender categories of Read Think Thrive Bags with their own age X gender appropriate supplies, assembling 112 bags is quite an undertaking, organizationally and financially! THANK YOU to all the volunteers who came out to help put these together, and a HUGE thank you to Anne Case and Susie Alexander for all your work to pull this day off! And finally, thank you to Eric Tweedt for your ongoing generosity in letting ECBC use your warehouse space for this project (and storing a ton of our books)! We can’t wait to get these book bags into the hands of kids at CHOC and to hopefully inspire regular reading of great literature as part of their battles against cancer.
This morning we delivered 28 of our Read Think Thrive Bags for kids recently diagnosed with cancer at CHOC Children’s Hospital. Way too many diagnoses in just the last few weeks. We are so grateful to be able to start every oncology warrior off on his/her battle with a mini-library of new, high-quality books to help them escape the hospital room and thrive through treatment.
To sponsor a bag for a child, please CLICK HERE to donate! $50 covers the canvas bag, pencil pouch, and art supplies, and $150 covers the entire package including ten books. THANK YOU for helping ECBC to keep this program going!
Today was book re-stocking day at CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center and at the Oncology Clinic. We delivered 200 new books to be offered to oncology kiddos whenever they visit the hospital for a chemo infusion or for a check-up. We also delivered 19 of our Read+Think+Thrive Bags, which contain ten new books and art supplies and are delivered to all kids soon after they are diagnosed with cancer.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to donate to BOOK IT 2021, our annual fundraiser, please consider doing so now and helping us fund these book bags as well as other ECBC programs — runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021. 120-150 kids are diagnosed with cancer at CHOC per year, and we are hoping to continue to get book bags to every one! If you would prefer to donate a book, you can do so using this link to our BOOK IT 2021 Amazon Wish List: https://a.co/dgc3bwV. Thank you!
ECBC’s second Mega Read Think Thrive Bag Packaging Day! Today 120 book bags were packed by these awesome volunteers! A HUGE thank you to ECBC board members Sandy Tweedt, Susie Alexander, and Anne Case for planning and executing this day — It’s not a small feat, as these bags contain approximately $20K in high-quality books, art supplies, book lights, bookmarks, journals, blank books and blank comic books, a parent resource pamphlet with tips for supporting reading through treatment, and Ethan’s creative response thrive challenges —all curated by the gender and six age groups of the recipients. We can’t wait to get these bags into the hands of kids at CHOC as they are diagnosed with cancer —a toolbox of sorts to support cognitive health and thrivership through treatment (when cognitive health is often at risk due to lack of school and literature-based experiences, limited social interaction, less varied world experiences, and treatment methods and disease processes that directly affect cognition.).
THANK YOU amazing volunteers and totally awesome board of Directors, we couldn’t do any of this without yout! And a great big thank you to Erik Tweedt for sharing your warehouse space with EBCB for storage and packaging days — we are so grateful.
If you’d like to help fund these bags, as well as other ECBC book and reading programs at CHOC, please consider donating to our annual fundraiser at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021. Or, if you’d like to donate a book directly, you can purchase a book from our BOOOK IT2021 Amazon Wish List by clicking HERE.
Today was book delivery day for ECBC at CHOC Outpatient Oncology — we re-stocked our library cart at the Outpatient Infusion Center, re-filled bookshelves at the Oncology Clinic, and replenished inventory of Read Think Thrive Bags for new cancer diagnoses. Cancer diagnoses are WAY up right now, especially among teens. Which I hate hearing so much. But i love that through ECBC we can help kids thrive through treatment by gifting them a mini library of wonderful new books.
Our regular book donations to ECBC have all but stopped, with nothing coming in from school book fairs or community events. To help us sustain our book gifting programs, please CLICK HERE to make a cash donation or click on these links to donate a book from our Amazon Wish Lists: Board books, Spanish books, all types of books.
CHOC delivery day! We re-stocked our outpatient oncology library cart with 150 new books, and we replenished the inventory of Read Think Thrive Bags for kids newly diagnosed with cancer. We also got to fulfill of a 15 year old’s personal request for a nonfiction book about horses. ECBC volunteers still can’t enter the hospital and we sure do miss bedside reading —but we’re grateful that outpatient nursing and staff are helping us to help kids thrive through treatment with high quality books! As a small side note, two weeks ago we delivered a specific chapter book series for a nine year old oncology patient by personal request, and I learned today that upon receiving the books she showed off her first smile at the infusion center ever.
We rarely get to see recipients’ reactions to receiving a Read Think Thrive Bag — so when we do it is super awesome! and special Here’s Blake receiving his bag, and Blake’s mom’s comments in her post about it (with permission to share). THIS is why we do what we do, this makes all the work worth it.
WOOHOO! I am so excited about today’s delivery to CHOC Children’s Hospital and ECBC’s re-launching of several of our book/reading programs after a six month hiatus (since all of our programs have been on hold because they have depended on volunteers). Now, thanks to CHOC’s awesome outpatient oncology nurse manager Ali Langdon and staff who are willing to store, manage, and deliver books for us, we can get books into patients’ hands in Covid-safe ways! Today, we dropped off the first installment of our Read Think Thrive Book Bags to be given to kids as they are diagnosed with cancer This is the first time we’ve been able to store these bags on site, and so it will be the first time we will actually be able to get the bags to all kids as they are diagnosed (a Covid-inspired improvement!). Additionally, today we also delivered supplies to start offering a brand new program for teen cancer warriors and survivors — a virtual book club (called Teens Thrive Reading Group and curated by ECBC now-teen co-founder Ethan) that includes gifting teens who want to participate with a new Kindle and monthly e-books. We can’t wait to grow this club into a safe space for teens to share their thoughts about both literary and personal stories! Finally, we created and delivered our new CHOC Oncology Outpatient Library (COOL) Cart filled with 250 curated books organized by book type, to be wheeled to patients’ rooms (oncology patients and kids with other chronic illnesses) while they are receiving infusions at CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI). In the past, ECBC’s book deliveries to OPI went on open shelves for patients to grab. With this new Covid-safe method, nurses will offer books personally to every patient/caregiver, encouraging them to take a break from screens and other activities to do a bit of reading/reading aloud.
Which gets me to the 29th (of 30) way that ECBC has helped hospitalized kids thrive — through providing books to kids at their OPI visits — now in a way that is much more personal and will result in significantly more books being gifted than before (there are 150 patient visits to OPI per week!). If you haven’t yet supported BOOK IT (which ends tomorrow) and would like to donate to help fund and sustain the OPI book cart, please go to runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020: $10 provides one book for the cart, $50 provides five books, $1000 provides one shelf of books; and $2500 re-stocks the entire cart (which will last approximately 1-3 weeks). We need your help more than ever, especially since we are not receiving any help from school book fairs and book drives which typically have provided most of our gifting library books! THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT, ECBC’s new and re-launched programs, and helping to honor cancer warriors during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!
Yesterday ECBC had its first Read Think Thrive (RTT) Bag Mega Packaging Day, where 120 of our book bags were packaged by teen Girl Scouts so they could be delivered to CHOC Children’s Hospital next week. These bags contain ten new, high-quality books curated by the age and gender of the recipient, along with new art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints, clay), various mediums for literature-based creative projects, and miscellaneous items including bookmarks, reading lights, and care cards with personal messages from youth volunteers. With their delivery to CHOC next week, this will be the first time that ECBC will have a supply of RTT Bags on site at the hospital, which (with the help of amazing CHOC staff) will allow us to finally accomplish our goal to get a book bag to EVERY new cancer diagnosis at CHOC.
THANK YOU to the awesome girls in Troop #2695 and Troop #3115 for the prep work you did leading up to the event we well as for your hard work yesterday! And, a HUGE shout out to 14-year old Girl Scout Senior Abigail Tweedt and Troop 2695 leader Sandy Tweedt: Abigail for your tremendous leadership and work you did leading up to packaging day, and Sandy for leading girls in the Silver Project (under especially difficult circumstances given Covid restrictions) and your invaluable ongoing commitment to ECBC. This day could not have happened without you!
All ECBC program’s have been on hold for the past two months per CHOC Children’s Hospital’s COVID-19 rules, as all of our programs require our volunteers to visit the hospital. We all miss being able to get high-quality books and reading to patients, especially to the kids who are enduring long and/or hard battles. So, Ethan and I were thrilled yesterday when we had the opportunity to hand off a Read+Think+Thrive Bag to Ethan’s oncologist at CHOC so that she could deliver it to an eight-year-old girl who was just diagnosed with cancer. Not the usual way we receive book bag requests (the request came from Ethan’s oncologist during his own Zoom oncology visit) and not our typical delivery method (the hand-off happened in the CHOC parking lot outside the entrance to the oncology clinic, rather than by volunteer delivery inside the hospital)… but it felt so good to be able to give the the gift of reading to this young girl. We have so missed doing this!
As an aside, note our use of a “book bag” rather than “book box”. This is the first time that Read+Think+Thrive supplies (books and book-crafting items) were packaged in a bag! A few months ago, CHOC’s Infectious Disease department informed us that we could no longer use cardboard boxes, so we are now transitioning to a “Read+Think+Thrive Bag” rather than box. We will miss the kid/largely Girl Scout- decorated boxes, but we are super excited about this bag — which is more functional (kids can actually re-use it) and can provide a tangible reminder for kids to bring books with them to their hospital visits. We think they look pretty great too! (Thanks to Emily Frye!)