My friends and supporters, I first want to first thank you for reading this, for supporting Paizo, and most of all, for supporting ComicBooks For Kids!
For those of you who know who we are, who follow us on Facebook and see the smiles of children sitting in hospital beds across the country thank you for your continued support. For those of you learning about us for the first time, welcome and allow me to share a little bit about us, who we are, and where this all began.
My name is Mark Weiss and I am the founder and president of ComicBooks For Kids (CB4K.ORG). As a child, I was diagnosed with severe asthma. On my 6th birthday, my mother brought me to a specialist who examined me, looked at her, and said, "It is a really good thing you brought him in to see me. Had you waited a little longer, this would have progressed into a situation where the ability to reverse the obstructions would have been very limited." And so began my shots and treatment which even today I still receive. There were many times that I felt challenged to just even be able to breathe as a child. Remember middle school, running laps in the gym? My gym teachers thought I was just looking for an excuse to get out of running ( a trigger for asthmatics if there ever was one). I remember times as a child when the bus dropped me off at the corner and all I had to do was walk three houses to my own house. That's it three houses. It was right there. I could see it but for all intent and purpose it may as well have been ten miles away, I would take ten steps, stop and grab my knees. Try to breathe. Then ten more. Knees. Breathe. And then ten more.
But I would get home and there they were. My mom had gone to the store and had bought me some comic books. Maybe it was Justice League (my favorite back then). Or Batman. Or Superman. Or Spider-man. Or Fantastic Four. I didn't care about who the publisher was, as a child that was not important. I just knew that with these comic books, I was fighting the Joker as Batman. I was flying like Superman. I was wisecracking like Peter Parker. And wow, did I want a green power ring! And forgive me but as a young lad, I so wanted those x-ray glasses that appeared in all of the ads.
Comics were my friends. And they took me away. I was in outer space fighting monsters, on an island running from dinosaurs, or flying through the sky. While I was in that fantasy world, my mind was not focused on my breathing challenges and perhaps a wonderful escape as the medicine slowly worked.
That is why we started ComicBooks For Kids! Illness strikes us all. Some more than others. Some children are in hospitals for a short period of time, others receive cancer treatments. Illness doesn't care about which gender you identify with. It doesn't care about your age, your belief system, your ethnicity. It strikes us all. And so we started ComicBooks For Kids to help children everywhere in every state of this country. It doesn't matter who you are, if you are a child(or teen) in need and in a hospital, we want to be there for you. Now 165 hospitals later and in every state of the country, we provide comic books, Funko toys and other pop culture items to bring smiles to the children while they are in the hospital.
We recognize that we can never take away the physical reasons that a child is in the hospital. But consider the emotional impact that being in a hospital has on a child. There is a fear that many feel as they walk through the doors and into that building. Even as adults, many of us become anxious as we walk into a hospital. Yet, with all of that, we have letter after letter from nurses and other health care professionals that comic books ease that emotional burden and let the children and teens relax while they are reading the comic book. And that is the point. While we can never take away the reason a child is in the hospital, we can for a period of time while they have these comic books allow them to be kids again.
We have also expanded. You see, as ComicBooks For Kids!, we often receive donations. We are often asked what is acceptable or we perhaps receive materials that are not always age-appropriate for children. What do we do with these? We created a sister site called ComicBooks For Troops. Now, regardless of your political affiliation, these brave young men and women, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, and uncles are out there serving their country. And what better way to say thank you to them, many of whom cannot be with us on holidays than to utilize these pop culture items that are not suitable for children. In this way, every donation is 100% used. They too for a brief moment can forget about the rigor of the day and lose themselves in the fantasy of storytelling be it a comic or a game.
So thank you! Thank you for supporting Paizo and supporting ComicBooks For Kids! Regardless of where you are from, we are working with hospitals in your state. Stay safe and healthy and best of holidays to you all.
ComicBooks For Kids! is a 501(C)3 organization as defined by the IRS. We are a GuideStar Platinum charity awarded to less than 1/2 of 1% of the over 3.5 million charities in the US. Further, we have been embraced and supported by both the Children's Hospital Association and the Association of Child Life professionals, received recognition from the Eisner Foundation, and support multiple military trusts and foundations.
Founder and President
ComicBooks For Kids!
Support ComicBooks For Kids!
Monday, December 21, 2020