When 4-year-old Mason Sable was hospitalized for 2 weeks with a rare and very serious pneumonia in March, his parents, Joci and Rob, were already thinking about their plan to give back to the hospital once he got better. Then the perfect idea presented itself.
“After Mason’s surgery, it was imperative for him to get up and get moving though he was in so much pain,” said Joci. “Getting a 4 year old to persevere through pain is not easy. Nonetheless, with the help of his amazing nurse, Anna Hinds, and a little bribery to get him to walk to the book cart at the end or his hallway, we got him up and moving.”
But Joci and Rob soon realized the cart had a total of 4 or maybe 5 books, and they had quickly read them all to Mason.
“That was it,” said Joci. “We decided we would really like to give back to the hospital in a way that would benefit the children on the floors directly.”
So the plan to collect new children’s books to fill those carts was underway.
Taking advantage of the reach and convenience of social media and online retailing, Joci posted a message on her Facebook page, which was shared by many of her 500-plus friends. Friends and family – even those who live out of state – were easily able to log onto Amazon, click their favorite children’s book titles into their shopping carts, and ship them to the Sables’ doorstep.
In all, the family delivered more than 700 new books to the hospital’s Volunteer Office. As they unpacked their donations, beloved authors like Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle were spotted, along with classic titles like “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Goodnight Moon,” “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” “Amelia Bedelia,” and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Non-fiction lovers will have lots of options too, and fun board games like “Spot It” and “Connect 4” were also generously donated.
“I am excited that if it entices some kids in pain or not feeling well to have something to escape to and will motivate them to start moving – like Mason – then we will have done something good,” said Joci.