Charity catalog offers special gift-giving ideas

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A healthy gift this holiday season. While crowds packed the stores on black Friday and others shopped online — some chose to give a miracle. It’s a new campaign aimed at offering a chance to fulfill holiday wishes with a gift from the heart.

Let your fingers do the walking, either through the catalog — filled with inviting smiles and sweet faces.

“$10 arts and craft kit supplies, reading books for children of all ages, gaming systems for hospitals as well as toys. ”

Or through the website. All across the country people can come together to give miracles to the hospital or patient of their choice.

Tom Sullivan, Lurie Children’s Foundation President: “Here in Chicago, our doctors perform miracles every day so this is a way to invite people who want to help children to be part of it in a direct way. There are any number of opportunities for them to give gifts in very specific amounts or for pieces of equipment or for toys or books that will help children’s stays at these hospitals be more pleasant.”

Locally, Lurie Children’s Hospital is hoping to raise 10 million dollars for the epilepsy center. Why? Because director Dr. Douglas Nordli believes research here is close to finding the key to stopping the disease.

Dr. Douglas Nordli, Lurie Children’s Pediatric Epilepsy Head: “Are you talking about medications that would prevent the seizures? Absolutely! That’s one of our areas of interest. We are interested in not just treating epilepsy but actually preventing it before it actually occurs.”

Seizures like this one. You can see it on the screen and on the tiny patient’s body.

Dr. Nordli: “We are recording the video image of the child during their routine activities and simultaneously what’s going on here is this is the brain wave activity, this is actually the electrical activity of the brain.”

As he studies EKG results and watches his patients, he feels the electricity of generosity that may change the world.

Dr. Nordli: we need to reach people earlier and get them earlier in the process of their disease before its wreaked havoc.

The price of the clinic is a lofty goal that may take cooperation to achieve or what’s called ‘crowd funding’ — donors lighting a fire for giving and inspiring friends to fan the flames.

Tom Sullivan: “People can get together and create their own little fundraising initiatives and invite friends and relatives to be part of it. It used to be called grass roots fundraising where now you call it crowd fundraising.”

And when your friends follow you, you can all follow the flow of money in the faces of happy children.

Tom Sullivan: “The commitment of this program is to be able to link people in a very nice and hopefully meaningful way to the hospital so they understand and appreciate how the dollars are used and the impact that they’ve had on so many young lives.”

There are 170 member hospitals in the children’s miracle network. No matter where you live, your donation will stay in your community.

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