LOS ANGELES - After months of fundraising, Children's Hospital Los Angeles Junior Ambassadors did the big reveal: 10 portable gaming carts for patients.
Brooks Vogt, 7, who beat cancer twice, knows all about the importance of distraction. "There's not really lots of stuff you can do when you're in the hospital," Brooks said.
Brooks said he played Minecraft when he was a patient in the hospital. It helped him handle the needles and the monotony. Now, he's happy he's able to give back.
Child Life Specialist at CHLA, Carol Hamamoto, said these mobile video game kiosks provide patients and their families a fun and age-appropriate activity. "This activity is one of the most requested activities from all of our patients, so child life loves having these around," Hamamoto said.
To kick off #GivingTuesday , Brooks and his fellow CHLA junior ambassadors shared the many ways to get the giving going.
"I actually partnered up with my school," Kylie Wines said. "We did a painting party, and we raised $100." Kylie has been giving back ever since she survived a brain tumor at age 5.
Eight-year-old Shira Josephson wrote a book about her adventures on the subway. "That someone so young-a group this young-has the ability to raise funds and provide us a gift this big that's going to be reaching so many patients. It's pretty incredible," Hamamoto said.
This giving season, every little bit counts. These junior ambassadors raised more than the $35,000 needed for the 10 gaming carts. They're proof that a little time and creativity can go a long way.
Hamamoto said their gift shows age doesn't matter. "Philanthropy starts at any age," she said. "It really starts with the heart."
These kids know that together they can make big things happen, and the reward makes it all worthwhile.
"We've got 10 gaming carts now," Kylie said. "And it's fun because we get to see the patients enjoy themselves."