Red Wagon Round Up: An Interview With Mattie Beckis
The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation Teen Board offers a fun and unique opportunity for teens to contribute to their community in a significant way. Earlier this year, the Teen Board participated in The Red Wagon Round Up donation drive, which sought to provide extra support items for PCH patients and their families. Mattie Beckis managed publicity for the PCH Teen Board leading up to the event, and so we sat down with her to learn more about the new program and events that took place this year. A transcript of our interview is below.
PCHF: What is the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Teen Board?
Beckis: The PCH Teen Board is a group of local teenagers across the valley that are advocating and raising money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital in hopes to encourage the younger generation in philanthropy and strengthen their connection to their community hospital.
PCHF: What did the Teen Board accomplish this year?
Beckis: It was our first year as an organization and we had the Red Wagon Round Up event on April 30.
PCHF: What is the Red Wagon Round up?
Beckis: The Seal Foundation and Discount Tire donated 70 red wagons to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to transport children. The Hospital tries to use red wagons instead of wheelchairs to transport children to make them more comfortable in the hospital environment. Then we had families and students across the valley put on over fifty donation drives to fill the wagons with specific supplies, such as diapers, Legos and stuffed animals. At the event on April 30, all of the items were collected and people were invited to enjoy live music, food, fun and games.
PCHF: How much was raised?
Beckis: We raised $34,500 to be donated to the new Emergency Department and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center and got an estimated $15,000 worth of items donated.
PCHF: How can people participate in this event in the future?
Beckis: Pay attention to the website under PCH Teen Board to see how to get involved. We are currently looking for new teens to participate in the 2016-2017 board.
7-year-old Leighton is like most kids. After school she juggles a full roster of sports – hockey and baseball are her favorites. (Her dad’s a former MLB pitcher and her mom, a coach and manager of a league of girls’ softball teams). But she’s not like most kids in that a diagnosis in May stopped all the juggling balls as she underwent surgery and chemotherapy at Phoenix Children’s.
Imagine you’re 6 years old. After a terrifying accident, you were pried from a car, whisked into an ambulance and rushed to the trauma center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. All you can see are glaring lights and the faces of people you don’t know. Doctors are urgently giving orders. Nurses are putting a mask over your face and needles in your arm. You can‘t breathe; you’re disoriented, and no one knows your name yet. Your tears spill over and you begin to panic. Then, a Child Life Specialist enters the room. Everything changes.