Boston Children's Hospital Every Child Fund

by Boston Children's Hospital
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Boston Children's Hospital Every Child Fund
Boston Children's Hospital Every Child Fund
Boston Children's Hospital Every Child Fund
Boston Children's Hospital Every Child Fund
Boston Children's Hospital Every Child Fund
Meet Harken
Meet Harken

Our most vital fund, the Every Child Fund empowers us to respond to a changing world with one goal: to give every child a healthy future. Your support enables us to treat the whole child, support families, and fund world-changing research.

To care for a sick child, parents may need to leave their jobs, put their lives on hold, and face overwhelming choices. Your gift supports our family-centered care: from big needs, like temporary housing and financial assistance, to small kindnesses that relieve stress. Families can focus on what's most important, their child. These services, so necessary and compassionate, are not covered by insurance.

  • This year families spent 14,678 nights in safe, subsidized housing
  • Over 20,000 meal vouchers sustained families
  • Our parking program helps over 1,300 families in need
  • Yoga classes, Reiki, massages, family coffee groups and other services ease stress
  • Social workers and support sessions make families feel less alone

Many patients, like Harken use these services. Read her story, told by her mom Brooke to know what an impact you’ve made by donating to the Every Child Fund.

Bret and Brooke had built a wonderful life. But when their baby girl, Harken, got sick, they had to sacrifice everything to keep their family together. "You have visions of who they're going to be when they grow up. In one day, that was all over."

When one-year-old Harken failed a hearing test twice, her doctor sent her to Boston Children's. "The diagnosis was devastating," said Brooke. "Harken had Hurler's syndrome, also known as MPS1, a rare degenerative disease that attacks her whole body."

The first treatment step was a Bone Marrow Transplant. "It was hard to see her lose her hair and lose her being a kid. But our caregivers assured us that all we love about her would come back. Boston Children's was the best place to be. Everyone involved supported us with kindness and reassurance throughout the whole process of living at the hospital. Even massage sessions were provided to parents to lessen the stress."

"Then we brought Harken home. I was saddened to leave Boston Children's—they felt like family. We had to keep Harken quarantined for a year. I quit my job as a teacher to be with her all the time. No visitors were allowed into our home scrubbing the floors and toys were an everyday thing. We couldn't even have a Christmas tree. It was hard on Leyland: he had a sister he couldn't hug too tight or touch without washing his hands. Because I no longer worked, we struggled. But Boston Children's found us financial support. They helped with meals and parking. They even found Leyland a support group for siblings of terminally ill kids.”

After a while, we started to feel like a normal family again. I remember the first year we were allowed to have a real Christmas tree in our home again! Harken turned to me Christmas morning and said "I love you, Mom." The first time she said 'mom'. That meant the world to me."

"Today Harken attends preschool, which is amazing. You'd never know she has a terminal illness. She loves to come to Boston Children's for her treatments. They make it fun with stickers and art projects.

When they say 'Until every child is well,' that's how every person in Boston Children's feels. It's a beautiful place to deal with a not so beautiful ordeal. I would never go anywhere else."

Thank you for donating to the Every Child Fund.

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Young Patient & Fan
Young Patient & Fan

Thank you for helping Boston Children’s Hospital save precious lives.

Our most vital fund, the Every Child Fund empowers us to respond to a changing world with one goal: to give every child a healthy future. Your support enables us to treat the whole child, support families, and fund world-changing research.

Your gift to the Every Child Fund directly supports the scientific breakthroughs and care advances that bring patients from all over the world. Here’s how philanthropic support is helping the sickest children get better:

Pioneering therapies: Cardiac surgeons have already saved babies’ lives using an astonishing new technique that employs the microscopic engines of cells—called mitochondria—as spare parts to preserve otherwise dying heart cells. Mitochondrial therapy is expected to heal hearts faster and stronger, and in the future could be applied to restore cell function in a wide range of diseases.

Revolutionary practices: Hollywood-style special effects, robotics and 3D printing can make surgery faster and safer. In our Pediatric Simulator Program, surgeons train on lifelike mannequins whose blood vessels, bone and skin behave and feel like the real thing. They rehearse complicated operations using patient-specific 3D-printed models that replicate a child’s anatomy with such fidelity the actual operation will be almost déjà vu.

Healing through play: Sometimes the best medicine doesn’t come from a bottle or a syringe. A dog’s sweet nuzzle, a lighthearted game, the soothing notes of a familiar song can heal children in ways that other methods cannot. The vital “extra” patient services that Boston Children’s provides can lower blood pressure and respiration rates, increase production of pain-fighting endorphins and bring comfort to sick children when they need it most. But such child life services are not reimbursable by insurance companies and are thus among the most difficult to fund.

Your support improves patient outcomes and has never been more crucial and will bring ground-breaking treatments and hope to families—until every child is well. Thank you so very much for your ongoing support of this important mission.

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BCH Commitment to the Community
BCH Commitment to the Community

Boston Children’s Commitment to the Community

Boston Children’s brings the same ingenuity to improving health outcomes for underserved children as to repairing a heart defect or broken bone. As part of our commitment to the community, Boston Children’s is redesigning primary care to wed medical services with social and psychological interventions and give families a “medical home”.

The holistic approach encircles the family. We screen patients for homelessness and developmental delays, intervening to ensure children receive the right help at the earliest possible point. We connect parents to the indispensable resources they need, and we support schools, health centers and community organizations so they can deliver better care for students, patients and residents.

We know what works. Time and again we’ve seen results. The overweight 10-year old who sheds pounds and gains self-confidence, the teen mother who builds parenting skills and watches her toddler blossom, the proud father who learns asthma-management techniques so his son can breathe more easily. With your help, we will:

  • Address the chronic health and social conditions that prevent children from reaching their potential.
  • Prevent and treat behavioral and mental health issues before they escalate into academic underperformance, substance abuse and psychiatric emergencies.
  • Reshape lives, supporting families and children to eat better, exercise more and live healthier.


No other children’s organization in the city has the reach, the range of services and the expertise to help Boston’s kids grow up healthy. The services we offer- while essential to children’s wellness-are not reimbursable by most insurers.

There has never been a more critical time for philanthropic support. Health care is at the core of life for children and families.  Boston Children’s Hospital extends beyond the walls of the hospital providing important and relevant prevention and outreach services.  Philanthropy ensures that we can continue to assist families with extraordinary needs, provide case management services and address the health issues most impacting our children like childhood obesity and nutrition, asthma, mental health, cardiac care, child development and injury prevention with some of the most renowned doctors and scientists in the world.Thank you for your support.

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BCH Clowns & Marathon Runners
BCH Clowns & Marathon Runners

Boston Children's Hospital May 2017 Report: Springing into Updates!

Broken bones to fragile hearts, stubborn tumors to elusive disease. Boston Children’s Hospital has one mission: To offer unconditional care to every child who needs us. Your gift helps us do what we do best. Heal children. Support families. And save lives, today and tomorrow, until every child is well.

In order to accomplish our mission, we must understand who are our patients are. Boston Children’s average patient age is just eight years old. Last year 88% of patients were under 18 including 51% females and 49% males. Lastly, our families average inpatient length of stay on our campus was 7.76 days.

During these long visits, it is important to provide a positive experience to the patients and their families. Support from donors like you helped the hospital expand child life services into new clinics and continue existing impactful programs that benefit the family holistically like our Clown Care Unit.

Child Life Specialist play an integral part of the team at Boston Children’s, they are responsible for daily programming in the activity rooms and individual sessions with patients at their bedsides and floor-wide programs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Some cost that are associated with Child Life activities include:   $25,000 annually for balloons, $15,000 annually for crayons, and $10,000 annually for stickers, pinwheels & bubbles.

Weekend child life specialists include our six full-time weekend inpatient child life specialists who cover a total of nearly 400 beds, providing much-needed enrichment, distraction and good old-fashioned fun during a previously slow time of the week. These child life specialists plan and run hospital-wide events in the Patient Entertainment Center; events feature crafts, giveaways, games, music and fun! In the past year, a total of more than 300 patients and family members have attended parties celebrating Halloween, a viewing of the movie Polar Express, the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.

The Big Apple Circle Clown Care Unit has been a part of Boston Children’s since 1995, the Big Apple Circus Clown “doctors” use music, magic, juggling and a variety of performance skills – their customized brand of medical humor – at bedsides, in activity rooms and in outpatient clinics. Our nine clowns interact with up to 80 patients and encounter more than 200 family members and staff each day!

Boston Children’s Hospital is committed to caring for the whole child, not just his or her disease or injury. Child Life Services, while essential, are not reimbursable and are thus among the most difficult to sustainably fund. We are deeply grateful for your compassion and vision in supporting our work and for helping children and their families transcend the difficulties of hospitalization.

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BCH Music Therapy
BCH Music Therapy

February 2017: New Year of Changes

Thank you for your generous support of the Children’s Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Over the past year demand for child life services has skyrocketed. It would have been impossible to meet our young patients’ needs without your dedicated support. Thank you for your compassion and kindness, which allows Child Life to engage, enrich, empower and heal families.

SIMPeds Child Life Specialist: New to Boston Children’s Hospital we have a child life specialist working in the hospital’s Pediatric Simulator Program. SIMPeds covers a host of activities, including the simulation of patient-to-hospital interactions, medical events, procedures, home care follow-up and more. In a room that can be arranged to simulate a child’s nursery, the dedicated child life specialist works with clinicians and families to help parents learn procedures such as inserting, removing or cleaning a tracheostomy tube. Community children and their families are also invited to participate in medical play, including working with an “X-ray machine” and other equipment.

Autism Child Life Specialist: Working exclusively in the Autism Spectrum Center, this child life specialist promotes the Autism Friendly Hospital Initiative of Boston Children’s Hospital by supporting patients with autism and their families throughout the hospital experience. Being at the hospital can present many challenges for patients with autism, including difficulties waiting, heightened sensory experiences and the unpredictability of the medical environment. The child life specialist supports each patient’s unique needs in a variety of family-centered approaches.

My Music Rx: The hospital has recently partnered with My Music Rx, a program of the Children’s Cancer Association, to send volunteer musicians strolling through the main hospital and other locations. The volunteers have been pushing a colorful rolling cart packed with guitars, ukuleles, hand drums and other melody makers. These roving balladeers are enchanting and engaging children and their families with nursery rhymes, lullabies and more. Right now the students dot the Emergency Department, Oncology and Surgery units and Teen Resource Rooms, as well as the Martha Eliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain.

A child arrives at Boston Children’s Hospital not just with a physical illness or injury, but with a rich history and inner life. Thanks to you, we are able to nurture each child not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

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Organization Information

Boston Children's Hospital

Location: Boston, MA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BostonChildrens
Project Leader:
Korinne Durando
Boston, MA United States
$62,702 raised of $99,999 goal
1,134 donations
$37,297 to go
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