Grateful Family Gives the Gift of Reading

On a chilly October afternoon, Lauren and James Vogeler stood outside and watched SkyBear, the Children’s National rapid helicopter transport service, fly away with their 10-month-old son, Nolan. He was struggling to breathe, and his body was rejecting the treatment he was receiving at their regional hospital. 

“Without a doubt, it was one of the scariest times of my life,” Lauren said. 

They followed by car, but it would be almost three hours before they reunited with their son. When they arrived at Children’s National, the staff checked them in quickly and ushered them up to see Nolan. His breathing was stable, and he had just been rocked to sleep by a nurse. 

“Right then and there, I knew we were in the right place,” Lauren said. “I will never forget the kindness the staff at Children’s National showed us during such a stressful time in our lives.” 

At the beginning of their three-day hospital stay, nurses brought Nolan a few books and small toys to play with in his bed. Lauren was inspired; as a book seller, she is surrounded by books every day. A donation of children’s books would be the perfect way to give back to the hospital, she thought. In December, Lauren raised $1,270 from family and friends, and with her company’s additional donation, she was able to purchase $1,900 worth of books for Children’s National. In January, she and her family personally delivered the books to the hospital. 

“I just couldn’t think of a better way to give back,” Lauren said. “Children’s National will always have a special place in our hearts.”

Children's National accepts donations of toys, games, art supplies, dolls, stuffed animals, gift cards, and personal care items year-round. See the wishlist for Dr. Bear's Closet, which provides these and other items to children and families during their stay.

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