Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Schoolkids raise funds for emergency care

Spring 2008

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Students at Covington Elementary raised money for pediatric emergency services at Stanford Hospital.

Hundreds of students at Covington Elementary School in Los Altos dug into their pockets and donated their weekly allowances to help ease the lives of children receiving emergency treatment at Stanford Hospital.

In a schoolwide fundraiser sponsored by the student council, the youngsters raised $1,392—much more than they had anticipated when they launched the project in the fall.
“Everyone was cheering. They were shocked. This is one of the biggest amounts we’ve raised,” said teacher Colleen Wilson, who advised the students on the project.

The project got its impetus from sixth-grader Natalie Eggers, 11, who toured the hospital emergency department last summer with her father, venture capitalist Barry Eggers.

“I saw a bunch of people whose beds were outside in the hallway, and it was kind of sad,” said Natalie. The patients were lying on gurneys, waiting for a bed to open up in the hospital.
Natalie remembered her visit to the hospital after being elected to the student council in the fall, and she proposed that the school focus its fundraiser on the hospital’s emergency services.

The students corralled their peers to organize a store at Halloween time, collecting rubber ducks, pencils and other trinkets to sell at lunch and after school. They also prepared 100 “mystery bags” that went for $1.50 each. The store was mobbed and the bags sold quickly.

The students also placed donation buckets in classrooms and made a competition to see who could raise the most money. Some of the fifth- and sixth-grade classes collected as much as $200 each, Wilson said.

The youngsters have asked that the funds be earmarked for books, toys, medications and other services to help children who are receiving emergency care at Stanford.

Paul Auerbach, MD, director of special projects for the emergency department, said the donation was “absolutely phenomenal.”

“This is about much more than money,” Auerbach said. “The true importance of this effort is that these children are sensitive enough to want to do something philanthropic to help other people. These are the same individuals who will go on to be the special leaders in life who respond to other people’s needs.”

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