By JAMIE A. COOLEY
A group of kindergarten-aged students at the Chicago Child Care Society (CCCS), 5467 S. University Ave., created their own fundraising project to raise money for the Child Life Program, which is a part of University of Chicago Medicine’s Comer Children’s Hospital, 5721 S. Maryland Ave.
The Child Life Program was created to help children cope with having an illness and being isolated within the hospital. The program provides kids with the opportunity to still have a childhood, even while being confined to the hospital.
The CCCS “Secret Garden” classroom came up with a business idea to make and sell papier-mâché hats that ranged from fifty cents to a dollar each. Staff members and family purchased the hats. The kids raised $50.
“The CCCS children came up with this idea all on their own, wanting to do this just to help other kids around their age: “Kids helping kids,” Hyde Park resident and CCCS volunteer Dr. Karen Goldstein said. “For a group of young kids, this is a huge and admirable accomplishment.”
The CCCS used the proceeds to purchase play dough and toys for the children in the hospital’s Child Life Program.
Goldstein said she was blown away and touched by the children’s efforts.
“I almost cried when I saw that the kids had done this,” Goldstein said.
The CCCS is the oldest child welfare agency in the state of Illinois, according to the CCCS website. The non-profit, which has been operating since 1849, is a child welfare agency for children who are facing significant challenges in their lives.
Goldstein has a close relationship with the CCCS. She describes the children as a delightful and fun group of kids. She has been visiting the Child Care Society once a month for several years and the “Secret Garden” class is one of the three classrooms that she always sees.
“I love going there,” Goldstein said. “I’m a doctor so I usually go to the Chicago Child Care Society with my interns to teach about issues with child care.”
Goldstein said the CCCS children refer to her as the doctor who is always with other doctors.
Goldstein said Amy Carter, lead life care specialist with the Child Life Program, sent a heartfelt thank-you note to the Child Care Society after receiving the donation.