Now that it’s October, we are starting to collect Halloween-themed books for ECBC’s 2nd Annual BOO-KS for Treats at CHOC Children’s Hospital! CHOC’s Halloween trick-or-treating event is a special event for Ethan, as he participated in it just two days after he was diagnosed with Leukemia and the same day that he had surgery to place his port and begin chemotherapy. CHOC has 100+ booths for patients and siblings to trick or treat at (candy, toys, Build-a-Bear), and ECBC’s BOO-KS for Treats booth let’s them trick-or-treat for new Halloween books! We need 300-400 books for patients and sibs of all ages. Please click here to access our Halloween-themed wish list. All books purchased will be sent directly to ECBC and stamped with donor name. Thank you for your help!! #HalloweenBookDrive #BOOKSFORTREATS#HospitalizedKidsNeedBooksToo
We had so much fun at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival on Sunday! Our booth was off to the side, so we weren’t sure how much traffic we’d have — but we had a ton of visitors (probably helped by the giant Spin Wheel we had out!). Ethan tirelessly shared his story of diagnosis, founding ECBC, what we’re doing now, and his someday dream for CHOC and all Children’s Hospitals at least 100 times — resulting in some monetary and book donations, and lots of awareness raised. And, Ethan got a particular kick out of the handful of people who came to our booth and said, ‘I know who you are, I follow ECBC on Facebook” or “We’ve been read to at CHOC by one of your bedside readers.” We hope to keep increasing our visibility in the community and our impact!
Thank you to Barry Ackerman and Kids READ! (a local nonprofit that donates gently used books to kids in need) for sharing the booth with ECBC and for obtaining the four tickets to Fancy Nancy the Musical that we raffled off. And a big thank you to Girl Scout Troop #3115 for hitting up all the authors at the book festival and collecting so many new books for ECBC (160)! This is the girls’ third year doing this for us and they’re old pros at it now — approaching author after author, describing our cause, and asking for book donations for hospitalized kids. We’re grateful for Troop 3115’s ongoing support!
And of course, thank you to the ECBC supporters who stopped by our booth — we appreciate you!!
We had such a fantastic afternoon at CHOC yesterday, bringing books and reading to patients in all sorts of ways! Our bedside reading team spent the afternoon on the 5th floor (oncology, neurology) — getting almost 100% “yes”s to their offers of a read aloud from our Read-Aloud Wagon. It was super fun to see one patient receive her fourth Book Band (there are 10 ECBC Book Bands that patients can receive and collect for each time they accept a book or a read aloud), and especially to be very proud to be wearing them all. Our bedside readers also gave away a bunch of books to infant through teenage patients in isolation. In addition, we did our monthly book delivery to the Outpatient Infusion Center (“OPI”), where Ethan received all of his outpatient chemo — re-stocking their shelves with approximately 80 books for patients and siblings to read and take home.
Finally, as of yesterday, we explicitly communicated with CHOC that we are now ready to systematically provide a Read+Think+Thrive Box for every new cancer diagnosis at CHOC. Prior to this, we have been providing our book boxes informally and sporadically as we hear about them through MaxLove Project and word of mouth. From here on forward, CHOC will reach out to ECBC as kids are diagnosed so that we can provide a book box that is curated by age and gender of the patient right after diagnosis — which, as we know personally, is a time when books and reading are not on the forefront of caregivers’ minds but if put right in front of them perhaps will be embraced and provide comfort. A few hours after committing to providing the boxes systemically, we received an email from Child life about a newly diagnosed kid — so we promptly got a box together for a 7-year-old girl and delivered it.
Ethan and I are super excited about the Read+Think+Thrive Box program, and we’re eager to work on ramping it up so that we can more seamlessly assemble and deliver boxes to kids at CHOC. That being said, we need ongoing funding to be able to continue to provide boxes as kids are diagnosed. If you would like to support, click here to learn more about our Read+Think+Thrive Boxes, click on any of the links on that page to donate a book from one of our RTT box wish lists. or click here to fund a single RTT Box or an RTT Box monthly at $100/month (which would cover one new diagnosis each month).
What a successful Thursday at CHOC!!
Ethan & Choco’s Book Club had a great afternoon last Thursday at CHOC! We spent the first two hours in the hospital lobby for our Super Book Give-Away, where we teamed up with MaxLove Project’s BeSuper Party and hosted a book-inspired craft in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (theme color of gold). We read aloud the classic picture book Where the Wild Things Are, which features main character Max who wears a gold crown and has an imagination that leads him on a wild and brave adventure, reflecting MaxLove Project’s “B” in their BeSuper Action Plan (“Boost yourself with super thoughts”). Patients and SuperSibs crafted their own gold crowns and received their own new copy of the book, and they also selected one to several books to keep from ECBC’s Gifting Library Cart.
We had a ton of fun highlighting gold, reading, and therapeutic crafting with MaxLove!
In the latter part of the afternoon, ECBC’s bedside reading volunteers had a terrific couple of hours on the oncology/neurology floor. They read aloud to many patients (toddlers through 10 year olds), and gave away a good number of books to patients in isolation. A successful afternoon of books and reading — we can’t wait to expand to more days of the week, more volunteers, and more reading reaching more patients.
In this video, Ethan thanks book donors in the months of June and July for their generous book donations. A huge thank you to Arroyo Elementary School 3rd graders, Mrs. Rojo’s 2nd grade class from St. Cecilia School, Girl Scout Troop #3980, Merrill Plozi, and Adriene Madden. As Ethan mentions in the video, book donations have slowed down lately, but we need donations now more than ever since we are giving away books regularly and frequently to patients in the hospital.
In part 2 of this video, Ethan shares his lists of Ten Thrive Titles (TTT) for July and August 2018 — which are his specially curated lists of books that are needed for his Read+Think+Thrive Boxes for kids diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. The lists shared here are the books needed for book boxes for middle school boys and for middle school girls. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking on the links to our wish lists on Amazon. Please click here for the list for middle school boys and click here for the list for middle school girls).
Thank you for helping ECBC reach our goal of providing a book box to every new cancer diagnosis at CHOC Children’s Hospital!
To learn more about ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive Boxes, click here!
*Please keep in mind that we will ALWAYS need hardcover and paperback books for our permanent Lending Library and our special situations (including patients in isolation) Gifting Libraries at CHOC. The link to our General Wish List for our hospital libraries is ECBC’s General Wish List
ECBC had a great day today at CHOC! On the second floor lobby, we gave away about 70 books at our monthly Super Book Give-Away as part of MaxLove Project’s BeSuper Party and alongside Donovan’s Smile. On the Oncology/Neurology floor our expert Bedside Readers read aloud some great books in patient rooms ranging in age from infant through age 12. And we filled the Outpatient Infusion Center’s shelves with 75 new board books, beginning readers, picture books, and chapter books. So many books into patients’ hands today!! We’re giving away many books regularly and really need book donations!! Click here for the link to our wishlist on amazon, which allows donors to purchase books that will be sent directly to ECBC.
Here’s Ethan’s June book request video, which includes his May thank you’s and his list of Ten Thrive Titles (TTT) for June 2018 — which is his specially curated list of books that are needed for his Read+Think+Thrive Boxes for kids diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. In this video, Ethan shares the list of books needed for book boxes for upper elementary-aged girls. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking on this link. Each book box also comes with art and writing supplies so that kids can respond creatively to the books — these art supplies can be donated as well by clicking here.
To learn more about ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive Boxes, click here!
Thank you for helping ECBC get our book boxes to more SuperKids in 2018!!
Here are links to other books needed, in addition to the ten thrive titles for upper elementary-aged girls’ Read+Think+Thrive Boxes:
- Ten Thrive Titles for preschool-aged boys.
- Ten Thrive Titles for preschool-aged girls.
- Ten Thrive Titles for early elementary-aged boys.
- Ten Thrive Titles for early elementary-aged girls.
- Ten Thrive Titles for upper elementary-aged boys.
- ECBC’s General Wish List. We will ALWAYS need hardcover and paperback books for our permanent Lending Library and our special situations (including patients in isolation) Gifting Libraries at CHOC.
ECBC had a terrific afternoon yesterday at CHOC, with two of our programs going on at the same time and with such a good response. On the 5th floor (oncology/neurology), our bedside readers visited patient rooms with the Read-Aloud Wagon and read aloud with almost every available patient on the floor. We received so many more “YES”s to reading than we anticipated! And on the hospital lobby, ECBC gave away many books off our Gifting Library Cart to patients and siblings who came down for MaxLove’s Be Super Party (see photo — unfortunately we can’t share pics of patients). It has been a wonderful first four weeks since launching our program — so rewarding to see plans in action, to see books becoming part of patients hospital experience!
A HUGE thank you to our AWESOME community for joining us yesterday at ECBC’s inaugural charity run and book drive — BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids! Nearly 500 racers (and nearly 600 people total including volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and supporters) came out to walk, run, fundraise, book-raise, and make our event an amazing success! The amount of funds raised is not calculated yet, but we can say with certainty that we have a net profit that exceeds our expectations for this first year. The book drive component of the event was also super successful, with the online pre-event book drive resulting in over 75 hardcover book donations and over 45 Read+Think+Thrive book box donations, and the onsite book drive yielding hundreds more new books. What a great boost to our Lending and Gifting libraries at CHOC! Beyond the funds and books raised, many made their mark on the Handprint Wall with their book recommendation for the CHOC library, jumped in the bounce house, used the photo booth, spun the big wheel with Scholastic, met authors and bought signed copies of books, warmed up and ran with CHOCO the bear, enjoyed the all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, participated in the book character costume contest, and raced their hearts out. It was so fun to see so many doing all this in their bright yellow “BOOK IT!” shirts sporting “Run Read Thrive” medals!
Thank you to Orange Coast College for providing us with a fantastic location for our event. Thank you to Barry Ackerman, Event Coordinator, who worked tirelessly on all aspects of the event and without whom BOOK IT! would not have been possible. My deepest thank you to our Title Sponsor, children’s author Alane Adams’ Rise Up Foundation, and to all of our sponsors and partners: Children’s Hospital of Orange County, MaxLove Project, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, American Academy of Pediatrics Orange County Chapter, Orange County Department of Education, Orange County Public Library Foundation, T-shirt sponsor Paris Family Trust, Kids READ!, Pakua Martial Arts, Orange County Children’s Book Festival, Scholastic Books, Erin Denes/Berkshire Hathaway Realtor, Adriene Madden/Magic Tree House, Saddleback Educational Books, and PJ Library. We couldn’t have pulled this off without all of our terrific event partners!
Also thank you to MC Rudy Novotny for providing such an energetic and positive vibe; Master David Clawson for leading a super fun warm-up; Emily Frye for all your help with design and artwork; Sprouts for providing water and bananas; CR&R for providing trash containers; Kiwanis Club of Irvine for the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast; Francie Rosen and Balloons Sound Great for the Entrance Arch; and Brighton Denes for stepping up to sing the National Anthem with no advance warning or time to practice — you are so brave Brighton! Thank you to children’s authors Alane Adams, Sheri Fink, Derek Taylor Kent, Dan Paley, Jennifer Grey Olson, and Suzi Schaffer for joining us with signed copies of your books for the on-site book drive, and thank you to Susie Alexander of Once Upon a Storybook for inviting authors and always supporting our cause and events. And special thanks to Caren Ware and Itz About Time for their expertise in race planning and timing equipment.
Also, this event would not have happened without the great volunteers who came out to help. Thank you to Girl Scout Troop #3115, members of the Irvine Valley College Circle-K, UC Irvine UNICEF Team, Tustin NCL, and Tustin Boys Community Service League. And thank you to friends Kate Dearstyne, Kathleen Marshack, Julie Schulman, and Erin Denes who showed up super early and stayed late to clean up — your unsolicited help is so appreciated.
And finally, my deepest thank you to the many individuals and families who came out to help make the event such a success! Thank you for promoting on social media, recruiting more participants, and creating teams — a huge shout out to our largest teams: Team Arroyo Elementary School, Equalizers Track Club, Team Shir Ha Mallot, Match Point Tennis Academy, and Team Hewes Middle School. And thank you for sharing your pictures and stories after the event , which plays a powerful role in helping to expand our community of support. I’m so very grateful.
Several have asked if there is the option to do a virtual run if you missed the event. We aren’t offering that this year, but we plan to for next year’s event. You may still support this year’s BOOK IT! via the race registration site by donating a hardcover book or by sponsoring a Read+Think+Thrive Box for new cancer diagnoses at CHOC. Access the donation button at https://runsignup.com/Race/Donate/CA/CostaMesa/RunReadThrive.
THANK YOU FOR “BOOKING IT” FOR READING FOR KIDS AT CHOC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. I sincerely hope that our community views ECBC’s cause as their cause too, benefiting the kids of orange county who end up in the hospital. And I hope that this inaugural charity run marks the beginning of an annual event that grows into a significant source of support for a sustainable library and reading program at CHOC. Thank you, AWESOME COMMUNITY, for being here with us from the beginning. See you back next year for BOOK IT! 2019!
As of yesterday, ECBC has officially started our inpatient bedside reading and mobile book cart program at CHOC Children’s Hospital! It has been a long road to get here, but we are THRILLED to be able to finally bring books and reading to patients ON THE FLOORS (ie Oncology floor), not just in the lobby — reading aloud, using high-quality literature and trained “expert” readers, giving away books to patients in isolation via our new Gifting Library Cart, engaging patients in book-inpsired crafting, and getting patients excited to take a break from screentime! THANK YOU to Susie Alexander and Sandy Tweedt for helping to make our launch event so successful; I’m SO grateful to have such AMAZING volunteers!
Our inaugural charity run is just 3 days away — it’s not too late to sign up! As we start our new program at CHOC, we have many new and ongoing program expenses, so we can use all the support we can get! Please join us and help us bring books and reading, and eventually a lending library, to CHOC Children’s Hospital! Click HERE to register.