Kayla Reisman knew exactly what she wanted for her 10th birthday. Instead of presents, she asked friends and family who came to her birthday party to bring donations for the University of Maryland Hospital for Children. It was the second year in a row in which she made the unusual request, asking her friends to make a donation to a hospital in honor of her birthday.
Kayla got the idea after watching Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby. Before the movie even began there was an ad with information about the Peter Pan Children's Fund, an organization encouraging children and teenagers to support children's hospitals.
The Peter Pan Children's Fund (PPCF) inspires young people to become philanthropists through its Peter Pan Birthday Club. Children can get involved by registering with PPCF. They then receive a complete party kit, including ideas for decorations, games and favors. The birthday girl or boy must then decide which children's hospital will benefit from the party. When the birthday is over and the checks have been collected, the family lets PPCF know how much money was raised. The gift is often matched by PPCF, and later a check is presented to the hospital.
"Kayla really wanted to do this. It was her idea. She is a kind and sensitive child. She attends a school where charity and doing good deeds are top values," says Kayla's mother, Sheryl Cooper. She adds, "Kayla's friends and their parents were a bit surprised by this at first, but Kayla is really pleased with the Peter Pan donations she collected."
On January 31, 2003, Kayla will come to the University of Maryland Hospital for Children to present a check for $250. She will be joined by her mother, father, and younger sister. Kayla independently decided that the money would go toward the pediatric emergency department. She chose the Hospital for Children because her sister, Lianna, was cared for there when she was a baby.
The check presentation will be held in the waiting room of the Pediatric Emergency Department, located at the corner of Lombard and Penn Streets, on Friday, January 31 at 3:30 p.m.
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