Last month I was invited to attend Camp Mighty in Palm Springs for a very special reason: AT&T was giving me (and nine other women) $3,500 to spend at an AT&T store to benefit the charity of our choice. It was a hard weekend for me to get away. I’d just had my first lonnnnng ER visit to get IV fluids and I was absolutely exhausted. But I had a chant that carried me through: Do it for the kids!

I decided to spend the money to benefit Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. The children’s hospital not only holds the NICU Maddie was in, but also the pediatrics ward that she stayed at several times. After thinking about it and talking with Mike, I decided to make this donation geared more toward the kids on the pediatric floor, specifically the older kids. Being in the hospital over the holidays is the worst (Maddie’s NICU stay was over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years), and while a lot of stuffed animals and things are donated, the tweens and teens can sometimes be overlooked. Since Friends of Maddie gives donations that benefit the families (and we have a huge donation program we’re about to unroll), I was excited to be able to do something specifically for kids.

Yesterday my mom and I brought my thirty five $100 gift cards went to the AT&T store:

$3500 in gift cards

The staff was awesome. Todd, the manager, thought the whole thing was really cool, and was eager to help me. We put together a package of four tablets, 25 headphones, 25 portable speakers, some game consoles, universal chargers, and USB cables.


chargers and headphones and usb cables

all the goods!

With our bags loaded with goodies, we headed to the hospital. Every time I’ve gone to this hospital for the last three months it’s been for IV fluids, so it was great to be able to walk in the normal entrance with armfuls of goodies.


We met with two members of the Child Life team (thanks Megan!) and went over everything in the bags. They were so happy to have stuff that would appeal to the older kids. It made me feel relieved that we’d decided to get something specifically for them (and the said universal chargers are the number one thing they’re asked for, so I was extra-glad I got so many of those!).

with child life

Thank you AT&T for letting my play Holiday Armadillo for a bunch of kids that could use an extra smile this time of year.

mattel children's hospital at UCLA
The lobby at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.