Remembering Zachary… 1st I am amazed to say at last count we were at 757 children, 80 parents, and 90 staff that can be touched by the donations given to Remembering Zachary. This doesn’t have us breaking open the 144 bracelets, the 144 tattoos, 10 bouncy balls, 15 parachute men, or other packs of items, we counted them as individual unsure what they were going to do with them, if they were going to go into bags, be used during procedures or what. One of the most impactful things that we got to hear was that June happens to be when the hospital needed the most donations, by June all the items that were donated at Christmas are pretty much gone and they are struggling to have the items that they needed to share hope with the patients. Thank you for helping us share the love with the children at a time that they needed it the most!!!!
We were able to spread the items to almost every floor of the hospital…. Both the PICU and TICU got items to stock their cabinets and to have reserves, the waiting room receptionist for the PICU was stocked with beanie babies, stuffed animals, and snacks to give to family and friends as they wait to go into the unit, The 4th floor (which is the floor that was Zach’s before he got so sick and is where lots of Zach’s friends go if they don’t have to be in the unit) got lots of craft items esp. foam stickers which Zach always got lots of while on that floor. The 4th floor nurses also got cupcakes and waters to say thank you for the care that they give. The Rehab floor was given some items to use in therapy that desperately needed to be replaced. In fact one item that was donated (the egg shakers) was given esp. to the music therapist that came and gave extra attention to Zach on his hard days. I wanted to make sure that she could make others smile like she did to Zach, that she could help the parents have hope by sharing music to the children. Even after that the office of the child life staff for the PICU/TICU and Storage Closet that was empty before this was then fully stocked with the items that they were going to need. She was going to have to order mobiles and we stocked them with 5 that they desperately needed, we were able to provide the exact items that they needed at the moment, I can’t help but think that Zach was in on that and knew exactly what his friends needed.
Zachary was a bright star in many lives, I know that I am biased but I heard time and time again how amazing his smile was, you know they are right, his smile would make you feel better and warm your heart. While we had some tears on June 14 2012 to be able to pull up to the hospital literally with a vanful of items make some of those tears sting a tad less. When I started Remembering Zachary I wanted to touch one more than I did last year, to take one more item than we did last year. Last year the day after Zachary died, Adam and I showed up at the ICU and took a box of items. I wanted to do more than that box. Thank you for helping us realize that dream!
We are not stopping here however; we would like to make sure that they always have the items that they need for the patients and their families. We will be doing three drives a year…
1. Remembering Zachary: (Delivered June 14th every year unless it is on the weekend) this drive will be collecting toys, art supplies, infant crib toys, new blankets, pillowcases, etc. This list could go on forever, this is our major event to stock the child life staff with all the items that they need and desire to pass out to the families.
2. Back to the Hospital: (delivered end of Sept of every year) this drive is to collect items that are often on sale during the back to school times. Items like crayons, markers, paints, paper, notebooks, glue, dry eraser markers, folders, pencils, colored pencils and sharpeners, etc. This list can also go on forever, these items are ones that cannot be taken back once they are given to a patient or go into a patient’s room. This means they are always in desperate need for them
3. Stuck on Stickers: (delivered end of Feb of every year) this drive is simply what the name implies; it will be to collect stickers. Stickers of ALL KINDS, stickers were by far Zach’s favorite and he often found himself at the hospital stickering (is that even a word) with flowers, fairies and princesses because that is all the stickers they had. Now Zachary didn’t care but many children do. This can be as simple as going and getting one sheet of stickers from the dollar store and putting them in an envelope so for $1.50 you can touch at least one child’s life or it can be as grand as spending 20 bucks and sending them in a flat rate box.