Five years ago volunteers got together, under the leadership of then-patient-parent Lauren Perlin, and hosted the first Storybook Gala for Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH). It was held at the Sheraton in Towson and raised $110,000. Last year’s Gala raised $338,000 — 200% more than the first year. Again, led by a team of dedicated community volunteers.
“I was thrilled to chair the Gala and have the opportunity to let our guests know what makes Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital so special,” said Baltimore mom and 2017 Gala Chair Beth Armacost. “The Baltimore community and beyond came out to support the hospital in such areas as patient programming, outpatient expansion, and state-of-the-art medical equipment.
This year, Baltimore mom Heather Hoffman is chairing the Gala and another dedicated team of more than forty volunteers. On May 12th, the Marriott Waterfront Hotel will be transformed into Where the Wild Things Are for an evening of rumpus-making and fundraising — where there are no ideas too wild and no dreams too big.
You see, adults know how important MWPH is for our community. They know that our community’s most vulnerable kids need a place to go where they can heal and grow. The 102-bed hospital is a jointly-owned affiliate of The University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine, offering a variety of diverse children’s programs and services.
The (cool) thing is, kids know how important MWPH is, too. They aren’t only the inspiration for what the hospital does every day, they help further the mission.
Here are a few ways some local kids have supported MWPH (and how your child can, too!)
Three Ways Kids Can Make a Difference at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
Donate A Birthday Party. Throughout the year, kids have asked their friends and families to donate to the Hospital or purchase items off of the Hospital’s Wish List in lieu of birthday gifts. Your child can even direct where the dollars she or he is donating are spent (like the Abilities Adventure Program or to a specific department or to wherever the greatest need is).
Paige and Madison Rubin asked friends to donate to the hospital rather than buy them birthday gifts this year.
“They were insistent on giving to a children’s hospital and they have a friend that is treated at MWPH for his Type 1 Diabetes,” said Andrea Rubin, Paige and Madison’s mom. “ Then they saw a commercial for the hospital and that was it.”
Design-Your-Own-Fundraiser or Wish Drive. Need a fun scout project that gives back? Is your child hosting a lemonade stand in the neighborhood? Looking for a school project entire classes can work together toward? Consider designing your own fundraiser for the hospital. The best part is your child decides how to raise funds, can get as creative they want, and can tap into their own entrepreneurial skills — motivated by the idea of helping other kids.
“We frequently get scout troops who raise money for us through troop projects,” said Paula Bragg, Mt. Washington’s director of philanthropy. “And then when the troops come to present the checks, we give them a tour of the hospital and show how their contribution helps us to the work that we do.”
Like a birthday party, your youth or school organization can also collect items off of the Hospital’s Wish List to donate. Games, legos, clothes, gift cards, play-doh — all of these things are put to good use at the hospital and in need. Please note that donations should be unwrapped.
Collect Diapers and Onesies for ShareBaby — and Participate in One of Their Volunteer Sessions. Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital has a new partnership with ShareBaby. You can donate onesies/sleepers for pediatric patients (snaps are better than zips in a hospital environment), diapers, diaper cream, and other essentials. Deliver your in-kind donations to ShareBaby at one of their drop off sessions, or even join them at a volunteer session to help sort! They can host up to 20 volunteers at their family-friendly sessions to help them count, sort and package gear and diapers. All ages welcome, generally children ages 6+ can assist with tasks. Stay tuned to ShareBaby’s Facebook page for upcoming dates. (Note – Mt. Washington is just one of the organizations ShareBaby serves.)
Feeling Inspired? You can help Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital by purchasing a Raffle Ticket for their annual Radcliffe Auction. One lucky winner is going to receive a $3,500 shopping experience! You can purchase tickets online here and you don’t need to be present to win. Tickets must be purchased by May 5th.
ABOUT MT. WASHINGTON PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL: WHERE CHILDREN GO TO HEAL AND GROW
Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital provides family-focused, integrated care to children with serious, chronic or complex medical needs. Since 1922, the hospital has helped children heal from illness and injury, and now treats nearly 9,000 patients each year. The 102-bed hospital is a jointly owned affiliate of The University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine and has locations in Baltimore City, Prince George’s County and in the community. To learn more, visit www.mwph.org.