The Kids Fund – Little Miracles
The Kids Fund provides assistance to children and families who are seen in the BMC Pediatric Department, and lends a hand to foster special program development within the Department of Pediatrics. The Kids Fund makes little miracles in the lives of our patients...
- Winter coats for a 7- and 11-year old brother and sister
- A refrigerator for a child with malnutrition
- Nebulizers and pillows for children with asthma
- Antibiotics for a child whose mother had no insurance or funds
- Bus fare to remove a child from an abusive situation
The Pediatric Department cares for more than 22,000 Boston area children. Some of these children face debilitating and life threatening illnesses. Hospitals are no fun for critically ill children. Children love to play outside, but illness often makes it hard to enjoy themselves and forget their cares.
A playground at the hospital with equipment to climb on in fresh air and sunshine would give children a chance to play and forget their illness. A safe and whimsical rooftop playground was designed and built through the efforts of the Kids Fund and a generous cast of supporters, including the Boston Celtics basketball team and Mayor Thomas Menino.
Mrs. Gladys Oliver describes the Kids Fund as “An absolute lifesaver. God’s gonna send his blessings to whomever thought of this!” Mrs. Oliver’s grandson, Dexter, receives his primary care at BMC. Dexter’s Healthy Steps Specialist at BMC, Adrienne Nunley, saw that the Kids Fund could make an important impact on Dexter’s life:
“Dexter is a second grade boy who wishes to participate in the BASIC’s Tutorial After School Program. Dexter’s mother suffers from a serious lung disease…. Since early spring, his mother has been in and out of the hospital and her health has worsened. Even though there is an assigned home care health care aide to assist Dexter’s mother during the daytime, Dexter is the one who cares for his mother when they are home alone during the night. He has called 911 when his mother needed help….”
The Kids Fund paid for Dexter to attend the after-school program. Since then, Dexter’s grandmother, Mrs. Oliver enthuses, “Dexter is so happy now. He wasn’t getting a chance to be a little boy, but now he loves the after school program. We used to worry about him being so stressed, and not playing outside here because of fights and shootings. Now he comes home from the program and tells his mom about all the things he’s doing.”
Reach Out and Read Program
One of the Kids Fund’s most far-reaching achievements has been the initial seedling of the national literacy program, “Reach Out and Read”. Reach Out and Read uses the pediatrician’s office to promote early literacy in three ways:
- Volunteers model reading in the waiting room;
- The pediatrician emphasizes the importance of reading in the exam room;
- Between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, at every visit, the child receives a developmentally appropriate book.
Yashanna, a delightful 13-year-old, loved St. Kevin School, where she received good grades and was looking forward to her last year in middle school. Her hope turned to gloom when she was told that her family was just short of tuition. She hoped, in excelling at St. Kevin, to qualify for the highly competitive Boston Latin School.
When Patricia Lawrence, her Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, first heard about Yashanna’s difficulty in completing her studies at St. Kevin School, she contacted the Kids Fund. We responded with a $400 check to St. Kevin. Yashanna’s family was able to raise the rest of the tuition. Now Yashanna is looking forward to graduating.
Determined to do everything possible to encourage mothers to enhance their babies’ nutritional, emotional and intellectual development with breastfeeding, Boston Medical Center’s Primary Care Practice opened the hospital’s first Breastfeeding Room in February 1999. The Kids Fund assumed responsibility for the establishment of the Breastfeeding Room and purchased all its equipment. The Kids Fund furthers supports new mothers by funding a lactation counselor.