Benefiting Pediatric Patients by Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation
January 13, 2019
By donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, philanthropists and other generous individuals are supporting programs in more than 250 hospitals across the United States.
Founded in 1992, the Foundation announced its mission – to create programs for kids with cancer that enables young patients to have fun and increase their self-esteem. Utilizing various strategies, the nonprofit organization seeks to educate and empower youngsters under the age of 21 who are living with serious illnesses.
Children’s hospital donations sometimes go to the CLF program “Hugs U Wear.”
Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation supports the many programs operated by the nonprofit, including Hugs U Wear, which provides wigs to pediatric patients who have lost their hair.
Most of us can imagine the fear and embarrassment associated with witnessing your hair falling out in clumps, a by-product of chemotherapy that a lot of children with cancer have to endure. An article in Kids Health explains the process of hair loss, which is a condition that occurs because the treatment interrupts the normal rate of hair growth. At the same time the chemotherapy is disturbing the division of cancer cells it also temporarily damages the cells in hair follicles.
Also called alopecia, a patient’s hair loss can be minimal – just thinning – to severe, which means the harsh treatment leaves them completely bald. It’s usually temporary and sometimes hair regrows during the course of treatment. Hair loss can occur more than once, however, and it may or may not include other body hair such as eyelashes and eyebrows.
The negative feelings associated with this experience are sometimes what fuels donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation Hugs U Wear program. It offers patients custom wigs made of 100% human hair as a gift for children suffering from a loss of self-esteem when they lose their hair due to treatment. The wigs have detachable hats for kids who want to top their hair with a fashion accessory.
Children want to fit in, and the pain of being different just adds to the burden of fighting a life-threatening illness. Donations to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation have provided thousands of wigs to pediatric patients in the hope that it adds some normalcy to their trying situation.
Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation provides a basket of gifts to each pediatric patient.
When we donate to children’s charities, most of us want the money to go directly to the comfort of kids and their families. The Childhood Leukemia Foundation’s “Wish Basket” program is dedicated to improving the outlook for kids with cancer,
a distraction from the seriousness of illness. When kids are hospitalized, a Wish Basket is delivered to them, which contains age-appropriate gift items that are designed to help improve and maintain the skill sets necessary for continued development. Each of the items serve to do more than just comfort the patient – they offer challenging and engaging recreation for lengthy hospital stays associated with cancer treatment.
Seeing the effect of the Wish Basket program on young cancer patients is one of the benefits of donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. After a grueling spinal tap or chemotherapy treatment, patients typically need their spirits lifted, which is the aim of these gifts. In addition to items that promote cognitive thinking and comfort during their hospital stay, the baskets also include a $75 gift card so they can purchase another wish item on their own.
The “Hope Binder” is another program you support by donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation.
Some children’s hospital donations serve practical purposes not necessarily related to the health of the child. And in the case of pediatric cancers, families need other kinds of assistance. The Foundation’s Hope Binder program offers parents or other caregivers an organizational tool to keep track and prioritize the burdensome medical information they receive throughout the treatment period.
Sorting the overwhelming number of documents given to them, plus keeping track of costs associated with their child’s treatment can become less difficult with the help of a Hope Binder. There are pointers for keeping track of medical appointments, nutrition recommendations, insurance benefits, medicines, etc. It’s a tool that provides some feeling of control, which grants peace of mind to those caring for a child with cancer.
Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation helps purchase technological support for pediatric patients.
“Keeping Kids Connected” is a program where children in the hospital receive iPads so they can communicate more easily with friends, family and school personnel. Not only does it serve a practical purpose – to increase connection – it’s another form of distraction from the grueling, often painful, experience of battling a life-threatening disease.
By providing laptops or iPads to pediatric patients, the Childhood Leukemia Foundation’s Keeping Kids Connected program addresses more than social connection. Kids Health has an article discussing the importance of academics for school-age kids with serious illnesses, because balancing treatment and academics can be a pretty big challenge.
“Not only does staying connected to school bring academic, cognitive, psychological, and social benefits — it's also your child's legal right,” the article says. “Kids with chronic or life-threatening illness and/or disabilities are entitled to educational support.”
Still, the healing process takes precedence. While academic isolation is a downside, the social isolation is possibly harder for a child. “When an illness means an extended absence from school, kids can feel that their classmates and teachers have forgotten about them. This can lead to depression, as well as anxiety, about returning to the classroom,” the article says. “Maintaining ties with classmates and teachers can help your child retain a sense of normalcy during this difficult time. Your child might even be able to Skype or FaceTime into a lesson at school over the computer.”
The best charities to donate to are those that offer a range of resources for kids with cancer.
The Childhood Leukemia Foundation has an ongoing blog with tips and information to benefit parents of pediatric patients. An article on the charity’s website entitled “Can We Talk?” addresses the challenges of communicating with medical professionals, such as an oncologist or surgeon. It includes a list of suggestions to improve the quality of a parent and child’s interaction with their health providers:
• Be your child’s best healthcare advocate. As a caregiver, you need to educate yourself so you know you’re making the best, most informed decisions. Ask questions and let the answers sink in. With an increase in understanding you will gain confidence in your decision-making.
• Bring someone else to appointments. It’s helpful to have support, and another set of ears to metabolize what your doctor says. Remembering details can be really challenging.
• Prepare your questions in advance. Be sure to ask specific questions and be brief, as most doctors have limited time. It’s another good reason to ask your most important questions first.
• Write down the doctor's answers. If you take notes you can more easily remember your doctor's responses and instructions. Go over the information later when you have more time to give it your complete attention and continue your research.
• Use your phone and record your visit with the physician. Specific instructions are there for you to revisit and confirm. You can also share it with family members or friends to obtain feedback.
The article also has suggestions for questions you should run past your health professionals regarding your child’s treatment.
• What are the options for treatment?
• What treatment is recommended?
• How often is the treatment?
• What are the possible side effects?
• What are the risks and benefits?
• What is the total cost?
There are many ways to donate to children’s charities through the Childhood Leukemia Foundation.
The Childhood Leukemia Foundation will accept donations by mail, online or in person, but giving can be set up in several different donation formats.
Make a Monthly Donation
You can lock in a regular total donation through the charity’s website. For just $15 per month you can be a member of the Circle of Smiles. You get the satisfaction every 30 days that you’re sharing your resources with someone who needs care, knowing that even the smallest amount makes a big difference.
It’s a way to be a part of a successful program without having a lot of administrative work to do. And you can make children’s hospital donations in your name or someone else’s, as a form of honor for a retired teacher, neighbor or grandparent, for example. It may be a birthday present or a way to honor someone’s anniversary, or other special occasion.
Planned Gift Donation
When you draft your will, there are many options for giving to a nonprofit entity. Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation is made easier with the more than 25 years the charity has been processing such gifts. It’s ideal to prepare a will while you’re young and healthy, though it’s not always possible. You can give to Childhood Leukemia Foundation in your will or during your lifetime, but either way, the advantage of making those decisions today is the enjoyment you can get from watching the fruit of your labor which, in this case, is happy kids who are in a stressful situation.
You probably know that donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation or any other 501(c)(3) is tax-deductible. But in addition, you’ll want to know the tax implications of a planned donation in your estate at the event of your death. It may also help to reduce federal estate and gift taxes significantly. Gifts made to Childhood Leukemia Foundation are exempt from gift tax.
Combined Federal Campaign
Your company can support the Childhood Leukemia Foundation by working with the largest, most successful annual workplace campaign for charity in the United States. The Combined Federal Campaign seeks to support philanthropies by creating cost-efficient, employee-focused giving opportunities.
With more than 200 CFC campaigns across the United States – nationally and internationally – the Combined Federal Campaign has helped raise millions of dollars each year.
Employers can choose to participate in a matching gifts program to maximize the benefit of each employee's charitable contributions. Check with your company's human resources department for further details. You can also contact the Childhood Leukemia Foundation to learn more, as well. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a business owner interested in donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, you may choose to activate employee Matching Gift paperwork directly to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation at this address: 807 Mantoloking Road, Suite 202 in Brick, New Jersey.
When you get to the point when you’re ready to purchase a new vehicle, you can donate a car to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation through Cars2Charities.
The partnership with Cars2Charities means you can make a donation to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation without using cash you have in your savings or investments. It parlays the value of the car you don’t need into a form of comfort and happiness for kids with cancer.
It's easy to forget that there's value in a car, truck or other vehicle, just because we no longer find it useful. And dealer trade-ins only grant the owner a small portion of its worth. But a donation to children's charities, as long as it's a nonprofit, gets you a tax write-off for its full resale value.
You can donate a car to charity and designate the proceeds to a special aspect of the program. Donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation in someone else’s honor, for a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, is also possible.
There are other suggestions for supporting the cause by tapping into opportunities to donate to children’s hospitals. And if one of the CLF programs resonates with you, it’s always an option to choose any one of the formats listed for donating to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation.