THE NEEDAt Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the Child Life program is not merely an extra measure of care. It is an essential part of a child's treatment and recovery. When a child is hospitalized, he or she is thrust into an unfamiliar environment that can be unsettling and even frightening. Child Life specialists help ease the anxiety and confusion that children, and their families, face during a hospital stay. Although Child Life services are essential, they are not covered by any insurance program. At Children's Hospital, the Child Life program is a priority. To stabilize the program and ensure services far into the future, we have a fundraising goal to create a $10 million Child Life Endowment. Once the endowment is fulfilled, CHLA will be the first pediatric hospital to significantly endow a Child Life program. Together with the help of caring philanthropists, we will ensure that Children's Hospital has the resources to deliver exceptional care that tends to a child's emotional and physical health, today and tomorrow.THE CHILD LIFE PROGRAMChild Life Essentials Child Life specialists help patients by combining child development with therapeutic play and focusing on the unique needs of hospitalized children and their families. Child Life specialists provide one-on-one care for patients at the bedside, calm them before procedures and deliver support to families in difficult times.Child Life activity coordinators, playrooms and the Teen Lounge serve essential roles at Children's Hospital by helping children do their most important work: play. The playrooms and Teen Lounge are supportive spaces dedicated to having fun and socializing. Child Life assistants welcome patients into these "ouch-free zones" where no medical procedures take place. Here, they empower patients with child-directed play and age-appropriate activities, such as arts and crafts, games and medical play designed to make hospital equipment more familiar. Ensuring that every child has the support of a Child Life specialist and keeping play spaces available, active and lively requires strong philanthropic support.Tools and Toys Toys and activities are pivotal to the Child Life program. From puzzles and board games to colored markers and crayons, Child Life materials help patients engage in self-expression. In addition, Child Life specialists distract and educate patients by making collages, writing poems or sharing stories. Through hands-on medical play, patients use real or pretend hospital equipment to gain a sense of familiarity and mastery over medical procedures and instruments. Painting with syringes, putting blood pressure cuffs on dolls or making sculptures with casting materials all help allay anxiety and provide a level of comfort with the hospital environment. By using these Child Life materials for play and exploration, patients learn coping techniques, express their creativity and have a chance to just be kids.HOW YOU CAN HELPBy donating or fundraising for the Child Life program, you will ensure that Children's Hospital Los Angeles will have the resources to deliver exceptional care that tends to a child's emotional, mental and physical health, today and tomorrow. Your gift contributes immediately to the Child Life Endowment, helping our children and the children of the future. Interest earned by the endowment will be used to address the program's greatest needs each year, and guarantees that therapeutic play is available for our current patients and for generations to come.To get involved or learn about the Child Life Endowment, please contact the Foundation Department at 323-361-1796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.