The Charity Bug

Vallejo 10-year-old girl Lydia Morgan to hold fundraiser for children’s hospital

 

In plotting out the best way to raise money for sick kids, Lydia Morgan had several ideas.

Ultimately, she co-opted the family’s planned garage sale as a fundraiser, waylaying plans to use the cash to pay for a vacation, and “Lydia’s Garage Sale,” set for Saturday morning, was born.

Lydia, 10, of Vallejo said she was perfectly happy to wait on a getaway if it meant raising money for the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland. The garage sale, Lydia’s first fundraiser, is set to start at about 8 a.m.

“I knew we were going on a vacation, but I thought it would be better to give money to the Oakland children’s hospital,” said the sixth-grader, who attends private school in Napa.

Lydia’s mom said the idea to donate to a children’s hospital in particular sprang from a television commercial for the Oakland facility.

Hospital spokeswoman Melinda Kriegel said the hospital’s foundation receives a wide variety of types of community fundraising donations totaling about $700,000 last year.

“We appreciate any and all donations, but (Lydia’s story) is so lovely, for her to think of us, we’re really appreciative that she’s thought of us first,” Kriegel said.

In order to decide who was most deserving of a fundraiser, Lydia researched online both the Oakland hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. In the end, though, Lydia admitted she had to play a game of “Eeny meenie miny mo” to make her choice. She added that she also knows a person who works at Oakland’s children’s hospital.

“St. Jude cures a lot of children with different kinds of cancer and the Oakland Children’s Hospital (did) $140 million of charity work (in 2012),” Lydia said, referring to the hospital’s “about us” page at www.childrenshospitaloakland.org.

Lydia’s fundraising goal is $80, she and her mother Jessica Morgan said.

Morgan said she, too, was happy to put a family vacation on hold into the undefined future — Lydia jokes maybe by the time she turns 12 — to encourage her daughter’s philanthropy. In fact, Morgan has found that her daughter’s story has drawn in others who have donated items for the family to sell Saturday.

“I work for a nonprofit preschool, so we do a lot of fundraising, so she’s been around it her whole life,” Morgan said. “It’s in her spirit. She’s grown up around it, and it’s just natural. Whenever we talk about fundraisers, she always wants to throw fundraisers. This is her first.”

Morgan went on to add, “As parents, we hope every day that the choices that we’ve made and what we’ve taught our children have made a difference.”

The garage sale will feature general items from the family’s home, plus plenty of donated kids’ books and clothes, Morgan said.

If approaching a stranger, Lydia said she would tell them the importance of her fundraiser as such:

“If you were your child, and were in the hospital and you got exceptional care, would you want somebody to keep that hospital going, or no?” Lydia said.

The garage sale is expected to run from about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until the family runs out of things to sell at their 1814 Indiana St. home.

To get involved with a similar fundraiser for the Oakland children’s hospital, www.childrenshospitaloakland.org online or call  (510) 428-3893  for event planning assistance.

Contact staff writer Jessica A. York at  (707) 553-6834  or jyork@timesheraldonline.com. Follow her on Twitter @JYVallejo.

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