In November of 2006 after undergoing multiple surgical procedures and hospital stays at Stanford University Medical Center I started thinking about what could be done to help the children I had seen in the adult Cardiac Care Intensive Care Unit (CCICU). I consulted with the head Cardiovascular Child Life Specialist, asking what I could do for the children in the Cardiac Department at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, they have the largest pediatric cardiovascular unit in the northern California region. She mentioned that the children have a long wish list for Christmas.
Our first Christmas delivery was in 2006; in 2009 we delivered a cargo van full of toys to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and car loads of toys to Sutter Memorial Hospital and UC Davis Children’s Hospitals in Sacramento. The smiles and giggles on Christmas morning from the hospital staff, Child Life Specialists and pediatric heart patients were priceless. In 2012 in addition to our cargo loads of toys and gifts we presented the Child Life Specialists on the cardiac units with the first of its kind to be used by pediatric cardiac patients on the West Coast with Wheel Chairs that are designed to look like Race Cars for the pediatric heart units at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Sutter Children’s Center Sacramento and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.
Angels for Hearts idea came about from seeing pediatric heart patients in the heart units in the hospitals at Christmas time. From a personal experience the Kaufman family knows that there is no sense of normalcy while you are in the hospital especially during traditional holiday periods such as Christmas. If Angels for Hearts can help a few pediatric heart kids forget for just a moment or two that they are in a hospital and just feel like a kid on Christmas morning then we have achieved our goal.
Angels for Hearts provides gifts to patients in pediatric hearts units during traditional holiday periods. There is no sense of normalcy for a child when he or she is in the hospital. Angels for Hearts will try to provide that sense of normalcy through the use of gifts for the pediatric patients. Angels for Hearts goal is for the pediatric heart patients in the hospital and during their recovery is to remember that even though they are growing up in a hospital setting that they are first and foremost kids before they are heart patients. Angels for Hearts works closely in connection with the Child Life Specialists at the hospital to make sure that the ‘wishes, wants, and needs’ of the pediatric patients will be fulfilled. Angels for Hearts does the shopping for the gifts then we deliver all gifts to the hospital for distribution. Angels for Hearts makes our delivery to the hospital(s) a few days before the actual calendar holiday for distribution by the Child Life Specialists on Christmas day. Angels for Hearts gives out our signature ‘Wishes, Wants & Needs’ funds program to the Child Life Specialists at Christmas.