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Dec My Room Fundraiser creates major impact on ucsf children

Over the past month, from late October to early December, Redwood Leadership has raised money for Dec My Room, a nationwide non-profit organization that works to promote happiness and healing for children who suffer from life-threatening diseases by decorating their hospital rooms. Redwood was able to fundraise a total of $2,543 which will benefit at least eight children, giving them fully decorated hospital rooms and toys.

ASB President Greg Dachtler presents SF Dec My Room director Lindsay Holt with check - Photo Courtesy of Ava Morris

Dec My Room is unique from other non-profit organizations in that it works to create a healing place for children so they can take their minds off of their pain and enjoy themselves during this dark time in their lives, according to the organization’s website.

The organization decorates children's hospital rooms into whatever design the child wants, and also provides themed blankets, toys and other requests. Designs in the past have varied, from a Tom Brady theme to “Frozen.”

Although Dec My Room chapters can be found across the country, they have a large presence in the San Francisco Bay Area in hospitals such as the University of California San Francisco Hospital (UCSF). Redwood students Drake Goodman, Kent Goodman, Bennett Vasquez and Allie Vasquez started the Junior Dec My Room chapter in the greater North Bay Area, and Leadership became involved to assist in fundraising. Junior Dec My Room offers volunteers under the age of 18 an opportunity to work for the organization, as they cannot yet legally do so for the official parent organization.

Redwood Students make blankets to decorate for Dec My Room - Photo Courtesy of Bennett Vasquez

Junior Josh Chan, one of the two current board members of the service committee, explained the reasons behind choosing to organize a schoolwide fundraiser for Dec My Room.

“The committee decided that we wanted to do an organization that was small enough that we’d know exactly where the money would go and how many people [it] would [impact],” Chan said.

Redwood Junior Bennett Vasquez helps fundraise for Dec My Room with a bakesale - Photo courtesy of Bennett Vasquez

The fundraiser collected money in decorated boxes that were placed in every homeroom class, and had representatives advertise them during that period. Chan said that in order for the fundraiser to gain momentum, they also provided incentive by bringing the three homerooms who raised the most donations Jamba Juice smoothies and bagels. The three winning rooms were room 235 with $161, room 156 with $141 and room 306 with $140.

Junior Will Lester, who donated $15 to the fundraiser, believes that the organization does meaningful work.

“Having known someone who has been through cancer, I can understand why and how much better it is to have a place you can call home,” Lester said.

Service Committee board member junior Ava Morris described the process of fundraising as enjoyable and rewarding, especially given that it is something that directly impacts children in her community.

Dec My Room comforts past recipient at a dinner event this year - Photo Courtesy of Dec My Room

“[Dec My Room] asks what [the children’s] interests are and what they want their room to look like, and then they completely transform their hospital room to make the experience a lot better for them,” Morris said.

Leadership’s next fundraiser starts in January and will be raising money, clothes and other useful items to help families affected by the Camp Fire. To get involved in or help with Leadership fundraising, contact your homeroom representative or the front office.

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