Pediatric Child Life Program
Raising funds to support families in need
Emilia’s initial project was called “Presents for Pediatrics.” The idea was to raise money and in-kind donations to provide toys, games and gift cards for children spending extended time in the hospital due to long term illnesses such as cancer. She was driven to focus on this idea as she had spent time in the hospital as a child following a near-fatal accident. A very important support for her while in the hospital was the Child Life Program, which was run by a woman named Maryanne Verzosa. Maryanne was one of the few bright things in Emilia’s day while in the hospital. She had a huge room full of toys, games and art projects. She also facilitated donations to the hospital. Emilia remembers over Christmas being really happy to see that children who were there during holidays were getting gifts — especially those children who could not afford them.
“I have always wanted to help Maryanne and the CLP seemed like the perfect opportunity.” – Emilia Victoria
Implementation of Project
Maryanne and Emilia agreed that securing funds would be the greatest help to families, and Emilia decided to fundraise for donations that would directly cover the cost of things like parking cards, gas and gift cards. All donations would go directly to the Pediatric Child Life Program and then they could decide where exactly to direct them. Emilia liked this idea because it means Maryanne and her colleagues would have some flexibility and also would be able to offer families things that they have never been able to offer before.
Emilia kicked off a month-long fundraising drive on February 1 through February 28. Her goal was initially set at $5,000, but she listed $10,000 as a goal on the website thinking that if she underestimated the capacity of her network to support the cause, she would only reach a maximum of $5,000 and perhaps much less. By setting goal publicly at $10,000, she knew she was taking a risk, but thought that it would also raise the bar.
Emilia advertised the campaign through Facebook and by sending individual emails. She raised a bit of money from Facebook but most of the donations came through direct email solicitations. Emilia emailed a total of 76 people. What is amazing is that 70 people donated.
Results of Project
Emilia was able to raise a total of $7,100 for the Pediatric Chile Life Program. She learned an incredible amount about fundraising and communicating with her network.