When Children’s Hospital employees have an idea to improve the health and well-being of children in the community, and financial support will make a difference, they can turn to CHOP Cares Community Grants.
The grants are an initiative from the Hospital’s Office of Government Affairs, Community Relations and Advocacy, and in their second year they made possible employee projects that touched on everything from eating better to car safety, and from reproductive health education to teaching CPR to passersby.
Employees apply for the grants, and CHOP’s Community Advisory Board selects grantees every October and April. Grants of up to $5,000 cover supplies and equipment, while employees donate their time.
Sampling of grants from 2015
CHOPed: The Art of Mastering the Renal Diet
Through CHOPed: The Art of Mastering the Renal Diet, children with chronic kidney disease learned how to prepare foods that meet the requirements of their diets, which need to limit salt, potassium and phosphorus. The grant funded a week-long summer renal cooking course at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College for Philadelphia-area youth and their families. In addition to learning yummy recipes and why the renal diet was important to their health, the kids connected with each other. Said one camper, “It showed me I’m not the only one.”
Bookmarks promote interactions with books
Building on CHOP’s Reach Out and Read program to promote early literacy and school readiness, two doctors created special bookmarks that explain to parents how they can best guide children’s interactions with books at different ages.
More than 350 individuals learned to perform hands-only CPR and choking relief techniques during Sidewalk CPR events at six different locations across Philadelphia and South Jersey on the first Saturday in June. More than 100 CHOP employees volunteered to provide the training, using rented manikins and automated external defibrillators.
Hippo Car Seats
When infants or young children have surgery for hip dysplasia or orthopedic injuries, they are fitted with a special cast that keeps their hips in a specific, splayed position. This makes it impossible for them to fit into a traditional car safety seat. A grant funded the purchase of a number of Hippo Car Seats that families can rent at a reduced cost, allowing the children to ride safely. The Hippo seats are available through CHOP Home Care, which also delivers them.
A nurse who volunteers at the nonprofit Mitzvah Circle Foundation used a CHOP Cares Grant to boost the effectiveness of that group’s Diaper Bank, which supplies diapers to families who cannot afford them. The grant added nearly 2,000 bottles of baby wash and 1,750 packages of baby wipes to the Diaper Bank’s supply of diapers. One grateful mother wrote: “I was worried how I would make my paycheck stretch knowing I was extremely low on diapers and wipes for my son. Seeing the box from you made life that much better, along with bringing tears of relief.”
Walnut Hill Community Farm
Nearly 20 administrators and managers in the Department of Pediatrics volunteered at the Walnut Hill Community Farm in West Philadelphia, which partners with CHOP to provide employee and patient families with healthy foods through its CSA. They built garden beds, spread wood chips in the paths and planted fruits and vegetables.