It was nearly a Christmas without toys for the kids at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Overall, toy donations to CHLA have been down 70 percent this year. Thanks to recent coverage in the media, it’s picking up.
Even though lots more toys are being dropped off, there is still a great need. Christmas is only one day out of an entire year of sick children getting toys to occupy and distract them while they are hospitalized. If you can’t donate right now, consider doing so at another time. Maybe your kids will receive a toy they don’t want or need that can be passed along to someone else!
Details on what types of toys can be accepted for the hospital can be found here. Most importantly, they must be new and in original packaging. Currently, the greatest need is for items for infants and teenagers. Please call Volunteer Services at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to make arrangements to drop off your donations at (323) 361-2371.
There are many ways to give – donating money or time or expertise. Donating blood or platelets (or plasma or red blood cells) is an extra special way to give, to literally give of yourself. During the holidays maybe you might consider taking an hour from all the shopping and wrapping and sit quietly while you donate blood. Or better yet, take two to three hours, lay back, watch a movie in a comfy lounge chair and donate platelets. Or consider a new year’s resolution to donate. Your donation saves lives.
A Cancer Patient can require up to 2 units of platelets per week. (And donated platelets only last about 4-5 days once donated, blood can be stored longer.)
An Automobile Accident Victim can use up to:
50 units of red blood cells
2 units of platelets
10 units of plasma
A Liver Transplant Recipient uses on average:
25 units of red blood cells
5 units of platelets
40 units of plasma
A Stem Cell Transplant Recipient can use up to:
10 units of red blood cells
10 units of platelets with ongoing outpatient transfusion needs
A Heart Surgery Patient uses on average:
7 units of red blood cells
2 units of platelets
4 units of plasma
I hope none of you ever find yourself in any of those situations, but if you do, or it happens to a loved one, knowing there is enough life saving blood and blood products out there will give some relief.
Not everyone can donate (for various reasons) so please call and see if you are eligible, then make an appointment. There are many places to donate around Los Angeles, ULCA’s Center just happens to be nearest to me.
Oh and here’s the part where you get something out of it – other than the joy and satisfaction of contributing a part of yourself – at UCLA (and maybe at other places) they give you thank you gifts of movie tickets or gift cards (jamba juice, starbucks, etc). How nice is that? Plus the yummy juice and cookies waiting for you in the resting area when you are done donating.
Make 2011 a year in which you donate blood or other blood products!
Thanks to Sean‘s twitter feed, I learned yesterday that the Pasadena Humane Society, who has taken in 200+ evacuated pets affected by the Station Fire, desperately needs donations of blankets, food, money, etc. I had a case of premium food that my picky dogs won’t touch that I took over to them. I always feel so helpless when a natural disaster is going on and was happy to make a helpful gesture, no matter how small it is in the grand scheme of things.
The Pasadena Humane Society is located at 361 S. Raymond Ave. The facility is closed to all adoptions at this time and are keeping the doors locked. However, you can knock on the door and they will graciously receive your items. While they are typically closed on Mondays, I confirmed that they are accepting donations today. If you have any questions, you can call 626-792-7151.