Things are getting sticky in City of Hope's pediatrics program - and kids love it.
Mrs. Grossman's, a Petaluma, Calif.-based company that manufactures stickers, has donated about 6,000 sheets of the gummy collectibles to City of Hope for children undergoing cancer treatment. The sticker gift is part of the company's long-standing donation program, which every year provides 6 million stickers to about 300 children's hospitals and medical camps worldwide.
A box stuffed with stickers landed in the hands of recreation therapist III Toni Carreras-Irwin, R.T.C., of Rehabilitation Services, on March 6.
Andrea Grossman, founder of Mrs. Grossman's, said the donations are a way to share her own blessings. "We know what an important role our stickers play in the life of a child who is confined in a hospital setting," Grossman said. "We like to send these young patients a big variety of stickers. This allows them to create pictures and perhaps express feelings that they might not do otherwise."
The gift began when City of Hope's Kevin Koga visited Mrs. Grossman's with his wife and two daughters for a factory tour during a weekend trip in November. While Mia, 4, and Tessa, 7, played with the stickers at the close of the tour, Koga, associate vice president of Communications, struck up a conversation with the company's public relations representative, Barbara Marino.
Marino mentioned the company's donation program and showed Koga a wall covered with sticker art created by children from hospitals around the world. No, City of Hope was not yet a part of the program, Marino said. But that would soon change after Koga supplied the company with a profile of the Medical Center and its young patients.
Each year, the company sends two boxes containing from 2,000 to 10,000 stickers to its participating hospitals. All the company asks in return is for City of Hope and other hospitals to provide a sticker collage created by a child, accompanied by that child's story.
Those interested can see examples of the stickers on the Web at Mrs.Grossmans.com