The OLS Executive Committee selected Cool Kids Campaign to be the beneficiary of our first annual Halloween party, Nightmare in the Valley. With a sell out crowd of costumed OLS members and guests, it was clear that this was a perfect fit, as Cool Kids Campaign focuses on putting a positive spin on its programs and improving the lives for kids with cancer.
Cancer creates an instant crisis in a family. Fear and anxiety are the first emotions young people may feel after learning of their illness and what they are about to face. Kids with cancer are still normal kids! Cool Kids program’s focus is guided by the direct feedback it receives from affected families and advice from the Cool Kids Advisory Committees.
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Cool Kids Campaign programs include the following:
The Cool Kids Learning Center is designed to address the academic, social and emotional issues that accompany a cancer diagnosis. With the launch of the program in Fall 2011, we offer individualized tutoring, group activities, and preschool “Mommy and Me” for oncology patients – all at no cost to the family. This facility is designed for kids with cancer to have a place where they feel they fit in, alongside of peers with similar experiences, as they attempt to continue a normal childhood. If you’d like to volunteer, the Learning Center is a terrific way to become involved with Cool Kids Campaign, even for a few hours a month. Cool Kids Campaign also asks for donations of supplies and other items, so be sure to read their Wish List!
One of the original programs since Cool Kids was established in 2006, hundreds of care packages have been distributed throughout the U.S. to children with cancer. From their inventory closet, volunteers select care package items that reflect a child’s specific interests, then assemble and mail their special package to his/her home as a surprise. Please contact Cool Kids if you are interested in donating toys, gift cards, shipping supplies, or other items related to this program.
The quarterly newspaper, Cool Kids Connection, is all about the cool kids and their families. Stories are submitted by moms, dads, caregivers, and kids living with cancer, or having survived it. Families are also invited to submit poetry, illustrations, photos, jokes, and anything else that reflects who they are and how they feel about the experience. Connection is delivered to approximately 120 pediatric oncology hospitals across the country, plus some doctors’ offices. Cool Kids does a phenomenal job of including all appropriate submissions; items are edited for length and grammar. Email submissions for consideration to Managing Editor, Katie Bennett, at email@example.com. Read previous issues here.
This trademarked slogan (special to the organization) was developed as an expression of what most cancer patients experience. Revenue from this line of merchandise helps to fund Cool Kids Campaign programs. Through the Designated Patient Fundraising program, patients are also able to utilize CANCER FEARS ME! merchandise as a fundraiser for themselves, awarding families 25% of sales which they can use to cover a portion of cancer-related expenses.
The Cool Kids Campaign looks for fun local activities to offer to our Cool Kid families. The activities range from tickets to an Orioles or Ravens game, or tickets to a concert or event at Royal Farms Arena. The ultimate goal is to make the cool kids happy and to distract them from cancer for a little while with a fun adventure out and about around the Baltimore area.
The Full Family Mentoring program offers families who have received a pediatric oncology diagnosis the chance to connect with those who have already been through the experience through the private portal. And since we all acknowledge that the diagnosis affects the entire family, the mentor program includes patients, parents and siblings.