The campuswide Gifts for Children project has collected toys and books during the holidays for children in the community for 25 years. This past holiday season, Gifts for Children decided to raise monetary funds in lieu of physical gifts due to pandemic considerations, raising more than $14,000 for families in need.
Partnering with the Department of Pediatrics, the Gifts for Children project raised money for the Pediatric Family Relief Fund, which provides direct assistance and resources to disadvantaged families of children with complex medical conditions.
“The fund was set up to support our patients’ families and help them get back on their feet again,” said Steven Seidner, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, noting that many families spend so much time in the hospital for their child’s medical needs that they miss work or even lose their jobs. And the pandemic has led to especially difficult conditions for these families and exacerbated their needs, he said.
The Gifts for Children campaign ran from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, garnering 56 donors and raising a total of $14,458. The donations to the fund were distributed to families in immediate need of financial support, helping them with expenses like utilities, rent or car payments.
“These are very needy families, and my heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who was so generous in donating,” Dr. Seidner said. “I think it was amazing for the first year of a fundraiser to have such tremendous support.”
The Pediatric Family Relief Fund accepts donations year-round. To make a contribution, please click here.