Ethan & Choco's Book Club

Striving to make access to books and reading a core part of the care that SuperKids receive in the hospital, with the principal premise that literacy support for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening conditions can help promote cognitive development and social connections that are part of thriving through treatment and beyond


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Stop by Arvida Book Co to donate a book!

We are so excited that the December holiday book drive at Arvida has turned into a regular thing! Arvida now has a book donation box for ECBC, so you can visit the store to purchase a children’s book to donate — as well as enjoy everything else the store has to offer, including a terrific selection of used and new adult books, locally made gifts and art , wonderful coffee, cozy seating and tables with chess games, and numerous in-person events such as book clubs and writers’ workshops. Purchasing a book here to donate is a win-win for ECBC, Arvida, CHOC Children’s Hospital, and our community! Bookplates are available at the store for donors to write in their name. Please remember that all books purchased for ECBC must be brand new!


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If you’re looking to make a donation before the end of 2021…

If you haven’t donated to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club yet this year and are looking to make an end-of-year gift  before January 1, you can still do so now! Most of ECBC’s programs have returned do their pre-Covid levels of operation, and all donations will go directly towards helping hospitalized kids (especially kids battling cancer and other life-altering conditions) thrive through treatment with high-quality books and read-aloud experiences. For example, it may buy a book for a child who is inpatient on the oncology floor; or it may provide a book bag containing a mini-library of age and gender appropriate literature for a child just recently diagnosed with cancer; or it may fund a Kindle and Kindle books for a teenage oncology warrior. All donations are tax-dedictible, and donors are acknowledged on the items they fund. You can CLICK HERE to donate: Please email Ali@ECbookclub.com for a donation receipt. #endofyeargift #ECBC #readthinkthrive #thriveagainstcancer #cognitivehealth


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THANK YOU Tarbut V’Torah for ANOTHER Amazing Book Drive!

Thank you TVT Lower School for hosting a book drive for ECBC again this year alongisde your school book fair! The book drive was a great success, with TVT students donating 266 terrific new books spanning all of the categories we need and including many high-demand titles. Thank you to the 5th graders for their hard work in promoting the book drive, and thank you to the team of parents who helped to coordinate it (Nuriya Ismagilova, Galina Kerenskaya, Christine Groner, Jessica Ardo, Andrea Katz). And a special thank you to TVT student and Leukemia survivor Liam Katz for delivering the books to us again this year!

We are so grateful for TVT for their annual support since ECBC’s first year of bookraising in 2016. Each year they have held tremendous book drives that are promoted by the students and that result in 200+ books — having raised well over 1000 books over the past five years. THANK YOU TVT for continuing to be a thrive partner school and being such an amazing model for how kids and schools can make a difference for other kids in our community!

 


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THANK YOU Jack & Jill Guild and Arvida Book Company!

A big THANK YOU to Arvida Book Co and the Jack & Jill Guild of CHOC Children’s Hospital for a successful “Happy Hour Book Drive” yesterday at Arvida!  In just a couple hours, 108 awesome new books were donated, including many holiday-themed books that will get delivered to patients over the next few weeks. A special shout out to Hoppy Meyer for her work coordinating the event. And a huge thank you to Arvida owners Sam and Mike for partnering with ECBC to help provide books for patients at CHOC!

Arvida will be collecting book donations throughout December, so please stop by the store if you can to purchase a new book to donate! It’s a huge win-win for all as you will also be supporting a truly awesome local Tustin independent bookstore with new and used books, a very cool coffee bar with terrific coffee, and cozy seating to hang and read and chat!

THANK YOU for your support in helping hospitalized kids to thrive through the holidays with books and reading!#holidaybookdrive #arvidabookco #ECBC #readthinkthrive #thrivingthrutheholidays #thriveagainstcancer #cognitivehealth


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HALLOWEEN BOOKS DELIVERED!

Today we dropped off BOO-ks for Treats bags for 200 patients (each bag filled with two Halloween-themed books curated by age and gender) to CHOC Children’s for their reverse trick-or-treating event on Friday (as well as for CHOC Mission Hills patients). These 400 books along with the 200 delivered last week to CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center and the Oncology clinic (see included picture of post from one of our outpatient recipients) amount to 600 Halloween books delivered! We pride ourselves on providing both high-quality and high-interest age-appropriate literature so hopefully all patients from toddlers through teens and young adults will include some reading in their Halloween celebrations this year!

THANK YOU to all of our book donors who made it possible for ECBC to provide literary treats for every patient at CHOC and help kids to read, think, and THRIVE through their hospital stay. Thank you also to our $500 level BOOK IT donors who each funded approximately 50 books of this donation. All donors were recognized with their names on respective bookplates in each book. Happy Halloween! #BOOks4Treats #reversetrickortreating #braincandy #readthinkthrive #cognitivehealth #ecbc #chocchildrens


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Please consider supporting ECBC in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

This photo popped up in my Facebook feed today — from September 1, 2015 — the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month six years ago and also the day that Ethan returned to school for 3rd grade after missing all of second grade. He had just finished the hardest part of his 3.5 year battle with Leukemia. While he still had a ways to go at this point with 2.5 more years of chemo, he was kicking cancer’s butt — loving school, playing tennis and golf, and reading voraciously into so many fictional and nonfictional worlds. This photo was also just a few months before we founded Ethan & Choco’s Book Club (ECBC), where Ethan and I committed to making sure that kids undergoing treatment at CHOC, especially life-altering illness such as cancer, received the same benefits from books and reading that he did while battling Leukemia. 

ECBC has come a long way since its inception — with numerous inpatient and outpatient reading programs for patients of all ages and gifting thousands of books a year. BUT we need your help in order to sustain our book gifting programs and re-launch our inpatient programs in October (we were just given the green light to bring our volunteers back to CHOC, woo hoo!). We are highly dependent on our annual fundraiser, BOOK IT, which provides the majority of the funds ECBC needs to run its programs. In the spirit of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month , please consider supporting thrivership for kid cancer warriors by donating to our online fundraiser.  We are aiming to raise enough funds to get us to next September 2022, when we are hoping to host a full BOOK IT with a return of our in-person charity runs and book drive.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Make a monetary donation online at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021
  • Become a “fundraiser”, with your own fundraiser name, monetary goal, and unique URL that can be used to send people directly to your fundraiser page. Click here to set up your fundraising page.
  • Donate a book directly. Click here to access the BOOK IT 2021 Amazon Wish List. All books purchased from this list will be automatically sent to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club.
  • Conduct your own book drive. If you wish to collect books on your own or conduct your own book drive with your family/friends/workplace for subsequent in-person donation, please email ali@ECbookclub.com We will send you a link to a separate wish list that you can share with your community and that let’s you specify the address to ship the books.
  • Help us spread the word by sharing the link to the donation site: http://www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2021.

Thank you for helping Orange County’s hospitalized kids thrive through treatment!


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Book Delivery Day at CHOC!

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.


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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM Ethan & Choco’s Book Club!

2020 was hard all around, including for tiny nonprofits like ECBC. When Covid hit in March, we had to stop all our inpatient volunteer-based reading activities, which are the backbone of ECBC programming and relatively low cost. We weren’t able to hold our in-person BOOK IT charity run, which is ECBC’s only formal fundraiser of the year. And, our ongoing large book donations have completely stopped due to the lack of onsite school book fairs and other in-person group events.  That being said, 2020 was an opportunity for ECBC to grow in other ways, including by: 

  • Forming our initial Board of Directors comprised of 8 amazing board members, and having our first two Board meetings in July and November. 
  • Filing taxes for the first time, with 2019 being our first year as an approved 501(c)3 public-benefit corporation.
  • Hosting a fully virtual BOOK IT fundraising campaign, which helped to expand our community of supporters and raised enough funds for ECBC to resume some of our covid-modified programs upon hospital approval. 
  • Converting our book box program to book bags per new infectious disease requirements (concerns about cardboard); having our first “mega bag packaging day” and finally having bulk inventory for delivery (thank you to local girl scouts), and as of September putting in place systematic delivery of Read Think Thrive Bags (which contain a mini library of 10 high-quality books curated by age and gender of the recipient) to every new oncology diagnosis at CHOC Children’s Hospital. 
  • Launching a new outpatient oncology book gifting program and library cart, which involves offering high-quality age-appropriate books to all kids entering CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center.  Per covid-based restrictions on the inpatient side, this shift to book gifting through outpatient has led to a new and terrific partnership with outpatient oncology staff.
  • Gifting significant numbers of wonderful holiday-themed books on Halloween and for the December holidays — to CHOC inpatients, outpatients, and patients and siblings living at Miracle Manor. 

Going forward in 2021, ECBC hopes to continue to promote hospitalized kids’ cognitive health and thrivership by: 

  1. Sustaining our ongoing outpatient gifting library cart and our Read Think Thrive Bags for new cancer diagnoses
  2. Expanding our outpatient book gifting to the CHOC oncology clinic, so that every child that visits the clinic will be also offered a book (not just those visiting the infusion center). 
  3. Formally launching Teens Thrive Reading Group, our new virtual book club for teen cancer patients and survivors that gifts Kindles and monthly e-books to participants. We will be recruiting participants from CHOC’s AYA (adolescent and young adult) group, and we will also work on online methods to recruit outside of CHOC teen cancer warriors who might be interested in participating. 
  4. Developing ways to provide parents with information and resources to help them optimally support their kids’ cognitive health and thrivership through treatment with books and reading. The hope is that this can include online methods as well as eventual in-person group sessions with parents during hospital stays. 
  5. Resuming and growing our inpatient reading programs as soon as our volunteers are allowed to enter the hospital again. Pre-covid, we were preparing to expand to more days per week, more patient floors, and our first bit of physical patient-use space to build a reading nook. As covid restrictions are lifted, we will be eager to return to growing our impact on kids’ thrivership during their hospital stays with rich literature-based reading programs.

A HUGE thank you to our amazing community for supporting ECBC during this especially difficult time — every monetary donation, book donation, and social media shout-out has mattered and we are deeply grateful. To start off 2021 with a monetary donation, please CLICK HERE. To donate a book off our wish list, CLICK HERE.

Thank you for helping ECBC help hospitalized kids to thrive with high-quality books and reading experiences!


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Today’s Outpatient Infusion Center delivery

ECBC’s new mobile COOL (CHOC Oncology Outpatient Library) Cart has been wheeled around to patients visiting CHOC OPI for infusions for about two weeks now, and today I had the pleasure of re-stocking the cart with a whole bunch of awesome kid lit, including about 50% Halloween books (ranging from board books to young adult horror and everything in between). I also replenished the supply of our book bags for kids who are diagnosed with cancer —too many kids are being diagnosed right now. And I got to fulfill an individual request for a specific book series—the patient didn’t want any of the 250 books on the cart, only Mercy Watson chapter books (she has good tastes, as this is a terrific easy chapter book series). Gifting high-quality books to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them truly brings me so much joy.