Being a hospitalized teenager just became a bit more fun, thanks to a generous donation from the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens.
Today Taco Bell presented Children’s Hospital with a check for $26,382 to support teen programs in the Child Life department. “Teens have special social needs and we need to provide for them,” said James Meinert, Vice President, Philanthropy, Children’s Hospital, “This generous donation will go a long way toward furnishing a program especially for our teen patients.”
For an hour each weekday the hospital’s Child Life classroom is set aside just for teens. The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens gift will provide things to make this a special time and place just for them. An electronic piano, flat screen television, several computers and teen-level video games will make it a place they can just hang out and be regular teenagers for a bit.
Children’s Hospital Child Life specialists assist hospitalized teenagers with their unique needs, issues and concerns. The goal of the teen program is to help ease the stress of staying in the hospital by offering teen patients a supportive and responsive environment for emotional expression, peer companionship and age-appropriate activities. Teens can interact with their peers and participate in fun activities just for older kids—playing video games, arts and crafts, music, talking and just hanging out.
In the first six months of 2010 Children’s treated 1,803 patients ages 13 years and above. While a patient’s average length of stay is one week, teen patients are routinely admitted to the hospital for weeks or months at a time for serious injuries and illnesses.