Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild holds annual fall read
Members of the Loma Linda chapter of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild prepares to surprise the kids with lots of fun things to do at the guild’s fall read. According to Children’s Hospital administrator Zareh Sarrafian, MBA, “Their commitment and tireless efforts translate into a huge difference for patients and staff, alike.”
The Loma Linda chapter of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital kicked off the autumn season with the annual fall read on Friday, September 28, 2007.
The event offers guild members a chance to interact with the children of Children’s Hospital by reading stories, providing a host of colorful crafts and games, and just generally spreading tender-loving care in every way they can.
To make the fall read as colorful and visually interesting as possible, guild members set up tables in the lobby of Children’s Hospital with brightly colored paper of all sizes and shapes, plus scissors, glue, crayons, and toys. As the children came down from the patient care areas, they were greeted by guild volunteers who steered them to activity tables and made sure they found plenty of fun things to do.
One of the highlights of the morning came when Luke the Lion popped in for a brief appearance. As the official mascot of Children’s Hospital and president and CEO of Luke’s Pride, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping the children, Luke keeps a very busy schedule. Yet there he was, larger than life, padding around the lobby with the giant paws and enormous tail that make him unmistakably the “big cat on the block.” With his soft orange fur and giant pink nose, Luke is always a favorite with patients, staffers, and guild members alike.
Children’s Hospital is fortunate to ha
Erin Pagel-Mohr (left), president of the Loma Linda Chapter of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, shares a moment with a hospitalized child at the guild’s annual fall read. “We’re big-hearted ladies,” Ms. Pagel-Mohr says of the members of the guild. “We just love kids!”
ve not one, but two chapters of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild that provide financial support and encouragement to the children at the Hospital. Besides the Loma Linda chapter, which is currently headed by president Erin Pagel-Mohr and her staff of volunteers, the Desert Chapter has been actively serving the children of Children’s Hospital since it was founded in the Coachella Valley in 2002.
Although the desert area has three hospitals of its own, Desert Chapter founders—the Honorable Shirley Pettis and Jane Wooley, MD—note that critically ill or injured children from the desert communities are usually transported to LLUCH for care. So they organized a membership tea, told the story of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital to residents of the desert communities, and began the task of recruiting volunteers in the Palm Springs area.
Encouraged by its first president, Mardell Brandt, the Desert Chapter voted to focus its fundraising efforts on supporting transportation to Children’s Hospital for Coachella Valley children and benefiting the neo-natal intensive care unit at LLUCH. The Desert Chapter’s big annual event—a luncheon fashion show and boutique sale—has attained a high level of prominence as one of the premier A-list social events of the Palm Springs calendar.
For its part, the Loma Linda Chapter hosts an annual cooking school that attracts more than 800 participants as well as other activities specifically t
Carrie Sarrafian, with son Grant and daughter Natalia attend the fall read. Ms. Sarrafian is an active member of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild. The guild raises money and performs a wonderful variety of projects to benefit children at the hospital.
argeted for the children. “We’re big-hearted ladies,” says Ms. Pagel-Mohr.
“We’re looking forward to raising money through the Tree of Hope and bringing delight to the kids this holiday season with the Gingerbread Village.”
Both guild chapters maintain active calendars that keep members busy throughout the year. Next up for the Loma Linda Chapter is the decorating party for the “Gingerbread Village” and “Tree of Hope” on November 29. The Desert Chapter will hold a cooking demonstration at Roy’s Restaurant in Rancho Mirage on November 14.
Do all these guild activities make a difference? According to Zareh Sarrafian, MBA, administrator of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, the answer is a resounding yes! “The guild continues to make a tremendous impact on how we are able to receive and treat our patients and families,” he observes. “Their commitment and tireless efforts translate into a huge difference for patients and staff, alike.”
“I should say so!” agrees Mindy Morrell, guild liaison for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. “So far, the 520 members of this wonderful organization have raised more than $576,000. since they began. That’s a lot of money, but more importantly, it represents a very tangible demonstration of the incredible commitment our guilds have made to the children of our community. We are profoundly grateful to them for all they do!”
For information on joining or contributing to either chapter of the guild, contact Mindy Morrell at (909) 558-3154.
By Jim Ponder
Mindy Morrell, pictured with Luke the Lion, is the guild liaison for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Mr. Lion is the official mascot for Children’s Hospital and president and CEO of Luke’s Pride. “I just think it’s great what the guilds are doing for our kids!” he roars.