By MJ Duncan
In its ongoing effort to improve the emotional state of hospitalized children, Stater Bros. Charities and Colgate-Palmolive has collaborated over the last seven years to bring entertainment packages to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. They recently sponsored Starlight Children’s Foundation which donated four iPad tablets dedicated to the children last Monday, August 18.
According to Tiffany Hoekstra, senior development officer of Loma Linda University’s corporate giving program, the iPads meet the emotional needs of young patients, in addition to serving as a distraction during difficult procedures and treatments, and as an educational tool regarding their diagnosis and treatment for patients and parents alike.
“It’s wonderful to see them smile and interact with each other while playing on the iPads,” Hoekstra said. “It brings levity to their day and they can enjoy being a kid.”
The iPads, loaded with a number of digital animated, educational programming will be used by young cancer patients treated at LLUCH, who can access them through a library check-out system or in the play room, as well as by child life specialists.
“One of Stater Bros. Charities’ interests is improving children’s well-being and health, and we would like to help in any way we can to support the ongoing needs of the kids,” said Nancy Negrette, executive director of Stater Bros. Charities. “Some of the children are not even able to leave their rooms because they are receiving treatment, so the tablets, hopefully, will provide them with something to keep them interested and occupied.”
Rebecca Arnett, Colgate-Palmolive sales agency manager, said her company has long been supportive of providing resources to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, including previously partnering with Starlight Children’s Foundation to provide “fun centers,” or mobile entertainment and video game centers, to the hospital.
“It’s very exciting to be here to deliver these resources for the children,” she said. “Just to see them smile when they see these resources also makes you smile.”
According to Hoekstra, Stater Bros. Charities and Colgate-Palmolive have been committed to making donations to the children’s hospital that would alleviate the emotional well-being of young patients on a regular basis, which includes portable game systems shipped once a year.