2018 ~ Eleventh Addition
Thank you from TCH Advisory Board
Delivery of Presents to TCH
We saw so many new faces today at TCH on the Advisory Board. It was great to meet all of them and their willingness to help out on delivery day. We had one board member that actually was a patient the year before and got to come down and pick out a toy and now she is on the board. How things just go in a full circle!
We had Austin Cappleman helping us as a member of the Ryan’s Rainbow team – he has been an active participate now for years. We loaded up the wagons from King & Spalding’s office downtown and then had the same volunteer movers that we have had for a long time load the wagons up and take them over to the hospital.
Ryan and I gave a speech to introduce ourselves to the new TCH advisory board members. I told them about my hospital stay and how this year it was an extra special time for me to deliver the gifts. This is the second time in a row that we were able to deliver gifts right to the patients at Texas Children’s Hospital. Flyers had been posted so the kids in the hospital knew they could come down to The Zone. The hottest toys were these huge stuffed animals and of course, the Nerf guns. Some kids came down from the same floor and got them so they could have a Nerf gun battle on their floor (which we got to see!). Some of the patients arrived in the Ryan’s Rainbow wagons – it was pretty cool to see how our wagons really do make a difference. I think more kids than last year that came to the toy delivery. It is always something to see how strong these kids are and how resilient their attitudes about conquering whatever it is that brought them to the hospital. They all were amazing and their smiles as they left meant everything to us. After two hours, whatever remained was going to be distributed to the Child Life Services as well as the wagons were going to be delivered to each floor for use by the patients during their stay.
Building the Wagons
The day before the delivery, King & Spalding for the 8th year in a row participating in a donation drive and building the wagons. They also put all the toys we purchased in the wagons and tried to organize them for the delivery. We purchased 36 wagons this year to be delivered to the hospital. Name plates went on all of them. I purchased a wagon in honor of Dr. Mott – a very special cardiologist who only wants the best for all his patients. I asked that the wagon be put up on the Cardiac Care Unit floor.
We had a great time having Rosehill Christian School again participated in the shopping of the presents at Target in Tomball, Texas. Ryan was even home to help out with the day. It is wonderful to see students give up time on Thanksgiving break to help shop with us. Because of the timing, we had a breakfast meeting before starting the shopping day.
Turning it Over….
So my big brother, Ryan, who I have run this organization with for 10 years left this Fall to start his next chapter of his life as an engineering student at Georgia Tech. Although I miss him terribly, he did leave me in great hands with our Ryan’s Rainbow board and some wonderful memories of Ryan’s Rainbow. I know he will be back to help when he can, but the organization is now in my hands. I will do my best to make everyone proud!
We have gone back to our books and we have had five donors every year for the last 11 years! That is amazing. And we have had 20 donors that have donated to Ryan’s Rainbow for more than 7 years! So how are the funds raised? From individuals, kids, businesses – everyone that wants to help out. Most of them have a story about a time when…. When their son was at Texas Children’s Hospital as a premature baby, or when their friend was there or when their cousin got sick and the Hospital took care of them. Some just want to donate a toy – which we love to do! One kind aunt of someone made blankets (you can see it covering up one of the stuffed animals!). No gift is too small as our motto is always “One Penny At A Time.”
2017 ~ Tenth Addition
Delivery of Presents to TCH
The TCH Advisory Board never ceases to amaze us and were there again helping with the delivery of the wagons and toys to TCH. We even had one family whose daughter has been in and out of the hospital want to give back as well and brought a ton of gifts to add to ours. It is really neat seeing the circle of giving.
For the first time, we were able to deliver gifts right to the patients at Texas Children’s Hospital and it was an amazing and humbling feeling all at once. Ms. Holly and Ms. Alma had us bring up all the wagons and the toys to the game room. An announcement was made and all the children that were in the hospital were invited down to pick out a toy in the “Zone.” The Zone is on the 16th floor of the hospital. That floor has the library, beauty shop, the “school,” and the Zone – a fun area for kids to just hang out.
The adults sat back and let the kids just have fun. We had parents tell us what a great idea this was and how special it was that their kid could pick out a gift. It was amazing how many kids came down by themselves with their IV carts in tow and/or with parents. Parents were very emotional and talked to my brother and I a lot. Probably about 150 kids came through in the two hours. We helped them pick out presents. Wagons were all taken upstairs to the floors and distributed to the various rooms. The remaining gifts were brought down to the Child Life Services for distribution this week. What was even more humbling was the grace of these young patients – they wanted to pick out a gift for their sibling or cousin – they wanted to “shop” for someone else in their life.
We even saw wagons come down the hallway with children in it. When we looked at the back, the Ryan’s Rainbow nameplates was on it from 2014 and 2015!
Rosehill Christian Students again participated in the shopping of the presents at Target in Tomball, Texas right before Thanksgiving. We had 30 students that participated and another 20 on the waitlist. Our volunteers were filled in under 30 minutes from the request. It is so nice to see everyone with such a giving heart.
We started with our traditional Chili’s lunch to explain what and why we are here. This was my brother’s official “last stand” at leading the Ryan’s Rainbow efforts and turning it over to me, as he was heading off to Georgia Tech in the Fall of 2018.
Thank you, Target for your wonderful donation and helping us be part of our shopping day!
Thank you, Chili’s for your wonderful hospitality as we hosted the Ryan’s Rainbow lunch! We met an awesome young server there who told us about his best friend who was at Texas Children’s Hospital and how much that hospital meant to him. It goes full circle!
King & Spalding – An Annual Event
King & Spalding collected enough money to purchase 36 wagons as well as for the older kids at the hospital again this year for TCH and helped fill the wagons with the toys that Ryan’s Rainbow bought. We put the name plates on them like last year – it is great to see everyone helping!
This has become an Annual Event at the law firm each year. I am told that the people look forward to building the wagons every year and it becomes a competition on the floors as to how many people attend.
We received a wonderful donation from a long-time supporter of Ryan’s Rainbow. He is an educator and knows how important it is for kids like us to give back to the community. He has since retired, but we are so thankful for his generous gift.