This is really happening, thanks to you!

I thought you guys might be interested in a snippet from this media advisory released by Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh:

Children’s Hospital Transplant Unit Gets Multimedia Makeover Thanks to “Make Room for Kids” Project

WHAT: The transplant unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is getting a multimedia makeover thanks to Make Room for Kids, a social media-driven fundraising project, and local Microsoft employees.

Working with the Mario Lemieux Foundation, the group partnered to raise money and donations to outfit the transplant unit with gaming and laptops. On Thursday, April 29, they will deliver 24 Xbox consoles, two Xbox kiosks, extra controllers and dozens of games to the hospital’s transplant unit. Each patient room on the transplant unit will be outfitted so that all patients have access to gaming and computers during their hospitalizations.

Make Room for Kids chose the transplant unit for their multimedia project because patients on that are unit often in isolation due to their compromised immune systems. Their average length of stay is nearly five weeks.

Make Room for Kids was started by Ginny Montanez of the popular Pittsburgh blog That’s Church, who encouraged her readers to donate. In a week, they raised more than $15,000 for the patients at Children’s Hospital.

Local Microsoft employees, including Luke Sossi, heard about the effort and donated the Xbox consoles, controllers, games, etc. on their own. The money raised will be used to buy laptops and other items that will be delivered at a later date.

So yeah, TOMORROW IS THE DAY! We’ll wrap up Phase I, which is get the XBOXs into the rooms.  The staff at Children’s has been hard at work for two weeks getting every transplant room ready for an XBOX.

Thanks to Microsoft employees who will be on hand and who have been working on this for weeks, we’re going to actually install every XBOX tomorrow. Not just going to drop some boxes off and leave. We’ll be going into each room on the transplant floor and giving those kids some gaming. Well, Microsoft and Mike will be. I’ll be standing behind them, taking pictures and cheering them on, on your behalf.

The games, extra controllers, and forthcoming laptops, handhelds, and yes, iPads!, will be kept secure in awesome rolling/locking carts being donated by IKEA Pittsburgh.

Once this Phase I is wrapped up tomorrow, Mike and I will work with the Mario Lemieux Foundation staff to purchase the remaining needed items and to leave a pool of your money in the fund for upkeep/maintenance of the donated equipment and also to replenish game and movie stock, leaving the transplant floor in pretty good shape.

I’ll get lots of pictures and video and stuff and I’ll post them tomorrow afternoon so you can see for yourself how our little project is progressing.

And I’m going to try very very very very … VERY hard not to cry tomorrow.

Wish me luck with that.





20 Comments

  1. Bob M
    April 28, 2010 11:00 am

    You are an Awesome Burgher!



  2. Pensgirl
    April 28, 2010 11:17 am

    Thank you again for your efforts. Yes, we’re the donors, but you’re the one who took action when the contest wasn’t working and made sure that Pittsburgh’s hospital won no matter what the outcome was. Every cause needs a leader, and you took on that role beautifully.

    You may like to deflect credit, but you’re a catalyst, Ginny, and catalysts are the people who actually get things done.



  3. Cassie
    April 28, 2010 11:22 am

    LUCK!

    and I’m with Bob M.



  4. Noelle
    April 28, 2010 11:26 am

    It’s ok to cry! Why stop yourself? Cry for all of us.



  5. Sooska
    April 28, 2010 11:34 am

    what Pensgirl said. Cry, Ginny. It is marvelous.



  6. bluzdude
    April 28, 2010 11:35 am

    You’re The Good, Ginny.

    I can’t wait to see the pics and video!



  7. bluzdude
    April 28, 2010 11:35 am

    (meant to say, “The Goods”…)



  8. Kathy
    April 28, 2010 11:54 am

    Ginny – Congratulations. How wonderful.



  9. Bojack
    April 28, 2010 11:59 am

    24 Xboxes??

    Dayummm!

    I have my Act 34 clearances, can we hang out??

    Great job V!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)



  10. Bojack
    April 28, 2010 12:02 pm

    I wanna be like Kramer at his Karate classes!!! :-)



  11. DG
    April 28, 2010 12:14 pm

    Go ahead and cry – Lord knows we will be! Great news.



  12. gunnlino
    April 28, 2010 12:26 pm

    Cry. Cry because there is a transplant unit just for kids.
    Cry because so many kids can be helped, so many families put back together.
    Cry because the ‘Burgers ( and some not ‘Burgers ) stepped up in tough times. Yeah and because it’s tough not to when the kids are involved.
    I’m guessing a lot of hard working people whose names we will never know gave a whole lot and then some more, will have a little cry of their own.
    Cry because the tears are of joy for so many reasons.
    Have a good cry, then go home and hug your kids.
    Excuse me, I have to get a tissue.



  13. Vivian formerly NY Luvs Pitts
    April 28, 2010 12:41 pm

    God bless you Ginny. You are awesome.



  14. Roxy
    April 28, 2010 12:56 pm

    That is awesome! I have been reading about this project on your blog and the first post I read brought me to tears.



  15. Carley
    April 28, 2010 1:58 pm

    While my son was not on the transplant floor at Children’s, he was in the pediatric intensive care unit for an extended stay last year. The Childlife department was an invaluable source but they are only as good as what they can offer the kids. This is an amazing and wonderful thing that Make Room For Kids is doing!!! My son’s good buddy unfortunately lives on the transplant floor more than he does his own home. He is a master at Wii bowling and now, he can hone his XBox skills. Thank you for all that you do and may God’s blessings find you…..



  16. Craig
    April 28, 2010 2:37 pm

    Let the crying begin, OK, it began at the first few words of this post. You’re the best.



  17. Just A Simple Man
    April 28, 2010 7:15 pm

    Kudos!!!!!!!!!



  18. tehamy
    April 28, 2010 7:41 pm

    I don’t know how you will be able to stop the tears. I’m practically in tears just thinking about all the kids and all those games they will have access to. I can’t imagine actually being there to deliver everything!

    Have a great time tomorrow!



  19. MsRiss
    April 29, 2010 11:43 pm

    I agree with gunnlino…It’s ok to shed tears of joy. Thank you for keeping up with this and seeing it through, making it happen.