Valentine’s Day Fundraiser Collects for Hospital Laptops

By buying handmade chocolate-covered pretzels for Valentine’s Day, students not only surprised their Valentines and friends but also supported Cliks4Kidz, a charity that provides laptops for children in hospital cancer wards. The fundraiser sold 617 chocolate-covered pretzels for $1 each and earned a profit of $560 for Cliks4Kidz. The money raised will be used to buy laptops for patients in the neuro-oncology ward at Children’s Hospital Boston. Non Sibi Society and Campuses Against Cancer sponsored the pretzel sales, which took place in Paresky Commons during the week before Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day, club members delivered the pre-ordered pretzels to dorms and day-student and faculty mailboxes with personalized notes from buyers. Carrie Ingerman ’14, a member of both Non Sibi Society and Campuses Against Cancer, founded Cliks4Kidz in 2009. Ingerman brought the non-profit to Andover when she matriculated to Andover this fall and garnered the support of her new peers in both campus groups. Since Ingerman founded the organization, Cliks4Kidz has raised over $15,000 and has donated a total of 17 laptops, 10 to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, LA, and seven to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, LA. Ingerman said that she had been planning the pretzel fundraiser long before Valentine’s Day, but that she decided to donate the laptops to the Children’s Hospital Boston after being hospitalized there three weeks ago. “After my [stay], one of my nurses explained to me that there were few laptops available, and the hours of use were restricted,” Ingerman said in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “I also discovered that each unit [in the hospital] is allocated a different number [of laptops]. The general oncology floor has access to several laptops. Conversely, the neurology/neurosurgery unit, which cares for children with brain cancers and cancers of the spinal cord, does not have any laptops.” Ingerman continued, “I realized how important a laptop could be [for children]. Unfortunately, kids on this [the neurology/neurology] unit usually stay longer and have a poorer prognosis. The laptops, in my opinion, will help the kids stay entertained while in the hospital as well as stay connected with friends, family and teachers while receiving treatment.” Ingerman said that Cliks4Kidz has shown her how small donations and fundraisers can make a large impact. Over the next five years, approximately 31,000 kids and 155,000 friends and family members of in-patients will use the Cliks4Kidz-donated computers, according to Ingerman. Ingerman said that she has been able to expand the non-profit with the help of her Andover peers. To hold the Valentine’s Day fundraiser, Ingerman relied on the help of fellow club members. Student volunteers made posters advertising the sale, hand-dipped the pretzels in chocolate, took orders during lunch periods and delivered the pretzels on Tuesday. Ingerman said, “Before coming to Andover, I was running Cliks4Kidz by myself. With little support, I wasn’t able to expand to the extent that I would have hoped for.” Nolan Crawford ’15, who sold pretzels in the Valentine’s Day fundraiser, said, “I was honored to be able to help Carrie raise money for such a worthy cause.” Ingerman turned her project into a non-profit organization in 2009, two years after she began planning the project. Cliks4Kidz officially gained status as a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, making all donations to the charity tax-deductible. Since creating the organization, Ingerman has been featured on and in Girls’ Life magazine. She was also a finalist in Build-a-Bear Workshop’s “Huggable Heroes” competition and won a state-level Prudential Spirit of Community Award, selected as Louisiana’s honoree in 2011. Ingerman said that she began fundraising for charity in fifth grade, when she raised over $10,000 in a three year project for the American Cancer Society after her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.