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KidFlicks

Posted by Elisa Taub
KidFlicks

by Marni Barta

Getting your child involved in charitable acts is a great way for kids to develop empathy and respect for the world around them. The following article is about a terrific charitable organization started by and for kids. It is a great idea and one your kids can participate in... Have them read the article and it may even spark some charitable action of their own.

It all started four years ago when my sisters and I were doing some "spring cleaning". We noticed that we had stacks of videos and DVD's that we had either outgrown or just didn't watch anymore.

I remembered that when one of my close friends had been stuck in the hospital being treated for Leukemia she spent hours watching movies to pass the time. So we decided to take our movies to the Pediatric Oncology Department of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where my friend had been, and donate the movies to them. When we gave the staff our movies, they were so appreciative and they told us how the first thing most kids ask for when they're in the hospital is a video or DVD.

Hearing what the staff had to say really let us know how much we were helping people. We realized that we couldn't be the only family with an overload of movies, and we thought how easy it would be to expand this charity act into some type of larger project.

We began by making phone calls and sending out solicitation letters to friends and family asking for videos and DVD's. Then we launched drives at our elementary school, middle school, and high school. We were getting a great response with dozens of donations coming in every week. We decided that every time we collected another 100 movies we would find a new Children's Hospital or Pediatric Department to donate them to so that each hospital would have a "movie library" of 100 assorted films that appeal to toddlers through teenagers.

We expanded our organization to include collection drives at our religious school and through our orthodontists and pediatrician's office (our Doctor, J.J. Levenstein sends an on-line newsletter to the 2000 families in her practice and advertises for KidFlicks weekly).

To date, we have donated 6,400 movies to 64 different hospitals throughout the country. Our goal is to donate a "movie library" to every Children's Hospital and Pediatric Department in the United States. (When we receive "R" rated movies or movies that are not appropriate for our target audience we put them aside and when we have 100, we donate them to adult chemotherapy centers.)

KidFlicks has been granted 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status, so donations are tax deductible. Videos and DVD donations may be dropped off or sent to:

KidFlicks/Barta
11755 Wilshire Blvd., #1450
Los Angeles, CA 90025

We are also happy to pick up large donations in the Los Angeles area. If you have questions, would like more information on KidFlicks, or would like to arrange for a donation pick-up, you can contact us at kidflicks@aol.com.

Marni Barta is 15 years old and in the 9th grade at Harvard-Westlake School. She lives in Los Angeles with her parents, Jake the dog, Samantha the cat, and her three sisters (Romi, 18, a senior at Harvard-Westlake; Berni, 13, an 8th grader at Harvard-Westlake; and Lexi, 20, a junior at Northwestern University). Marni also plays Field Hockey and works on her school magazine.