Kidzz Helping Kidzz 2018 Update
Kidzz Helping Kidzz has just completed another successful toy drive to benefit children in area hospitals during the holidays. Our successes are deemed, largely in part to the assistance we received last year from Caring Clowns International.
Two years ago, 9-year-old Zachary Darner’s infant brother was quite ill and in the hospital several times. It was then that Zachary decided to try to raise 50 new toys to give to children at two children’s hospitals in the Puget Sound area, feeling that children should feel safe and cared for while in the hospital during Christmas. He went door-to-door in his neighborhood with flyers about his project. He set up four collection boxes in the community and gave a presentation to his school classmates. The toy drive exceeded all expectations, and he distributed 259 toys at the hospitals.
Last year, Zachary increased his goal to 1,000 toys. To help promote the project, then named Kidzz Helping Kidzz, the project received financial support and assistance from the wonderful volunteers of Caring Clowns International. Caring Clowns International adopted Kidzz Helping Kidzz as one of its projects and essentially became the “backbone” of the effort. They helped us to develop our logo and mission, assisted us to develop our budget, and made application on our behalf for grants for which only nonprofit organizations were eligible. They also developed our marketing plan, coordinated with many businesses to take toy collection boxes and helped to service the boxes placed in 28 establishments. They also helped to line up Zachary to speak at Rotary Clubs to get the word out about his toy drive. Again, he exceeded his goal and raised 1,589 toys!
For 2018, Zachary desired to once again collect toys to take to kids in hospitals unable to be at home for the holidays. Zachary increased his goal to 5,000 toys. To support these efforts, again with the help of Caring Clowns International, Kidzz Helping Kidzz formed its own nonprofit organization. And as last year, Zachary gave numerous presentations to Rotary clubs and schools and met with public officials. This year, 55 businesses supported his toy drive by hosting toy collection boxes.
Seven kids, ages 7-15, assisted Kidzz Helping Kidzz by sorting and boxing toys, going door-to-door to distribute fliers with Zachary, and delivering the toys to the hospitals. These kids have formally become the Kidzz Helping Kidzz Advisory Board. They will advise Zachary and our Board on future projects/activities to meet the Kidzz Helping Kidzz mission.
Zachary exceeded his goal and raised 5,890 toys which were given on December 19 to children at Harrison Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Matt Lorch from Q13 TV News followed the toy delivery and has selected Zachary as one of his “Change Makers.” The story will air in January 2019.
We are sincerely grateful for all the assistance we received from everyone, including Caring Clowns International. The heartfelt generosity of all who have helped has greatly assisted us to reach our goals!
Beth Friedman Darner
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