Instead of the usual birthday gifts, this year Ella Stone, a 1st grade student at Evergreen Elementary School, asked all of her birthday party guests to bring donations for The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Thanks to the generosity of all 23 birthday guests and their parents, Ella was able to coordinate a sizable donation to the Children’s House, including: paper towels and plates, various household cleaners and sanitizes, non-perishable foods such as pastas, coffees, and snack packs, and toys and games.
The Children’s House at Johns Hopkins is special to Ella because it provided a week’s lodging to her family when Ella’s two-month premature brothers were at Johns Hopkins NICU during December 2012. Despite the complications, uncertainty and stress surrounding her family, they all found comfort in the ability to be close to the babies in an environment much like a home. The Children’s House offers affordable housing for families of pediatric patients who visit Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Its purpose is to keep families together in the midst of medical crisis by providing a “home-away-from-home”, and is especially important to those families dealing with long-term treatment for issues such as cancer and leukemia, and for which Johns Hopkins is 100+ miles away from the patient’s home. Solely supported through donations and volunteers, the Children’s House is able to provide cooked meals for all of the families on most evenings, tickets to family-friendly events such as the Baltimore Aquarium and Discovery Children’s Museum, and stuffed animals, toys and books for the families staying at the house.
On March 28, 2013, Ella delivered the donations to the very thankful Children’s House staff. Ella, who also participates in Girl Scouts and enjoys sleepovers with her friends, was thankful to help provide comfort to other children and their families by making this donation.