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Medical Services Bureau Steps up To Make a Difference in Children’s Lives
Medical Services Bureau Steps up To Make a Difference in Children's Lives
Its name is a reference to a law enforcement radio code: 999. It means, "Officer needs emergency help." But, in this case, it's not a reference to an officer in need. It's a reference to children in need.
"999 for Kids" was created in 1985 through a joint effort of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the County's Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The two County agencies began working together after they recognized a need to help physically and mentally challenged children who are medically vulnerable or are victims of the most severe cases of child abuse, neglect and family violence.
The program raises money to purchase special items and services for these children, including sport wheelchairs, computers, special education classes, medically oriented toys and games. The funds send children to summer camps for the deaf, blind, and those with other medical issues who would not otherwise have such positive experiences. Many deputies and their colleagues in other law enforcement agencies support 999 for Kids on their own time, holding fundraising events.
One example of how 999 For Kids profoundly changes children's lives occurred at the Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach. The hospital received 54 DVD players from 999 for Kids, providing the hospital a valuable tool to help hospitalized children cope.
"We're so grateful that 999 for Kids chose Miller Children's Hospital for such a generous donation," Rita Goshert, Clinical Operations Manager of the hospital's Child Life Department, says in a statement released by the hospital. "Watching videos serves as a wonderful distraction for hospitalized children, so this donation will help patients and their families cope with hospitalization."
Identifying children's needs and meeting them that's the goal of 999 for Kids, whether the need is for a group of children, like those at Miller Children's Hospital, or for an individual, like Samira, who's 17 and legally blind. She loves to write short stories, and she came to DCFS attention due to her mother's refusal to provide necessary medical care, causing Samira to suffer from depression. The withdrawn Samira was placed in foster care, and has improved with counseling. Upon being made aware of Samira's need, 999 for Kids purchased a $9,000 specialized Braille machine that allows Samira to communicate and read in comfort enhancing her experiences in home and at school.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Commander Warren R. Asmus says "999 for Kids couldn't do any of these things without contributions from the supporters of the Sheriff's Youth Foundation. The children that are brought to the attention of 999 For Kids are the victims of the worst cases of physical and emotional abuse," Asmus says. "Without the generous support of our donors, we'd be unable to provide the crucial assistance these children so desperately need, and we sincerely appreciate the support."
We at Medical Services Bureau (MSB) are very lucky to have incredibly supportive and generous employees. Just one of those employees is Ms. Nettie Walker, who is one of our Nurse Managers at Men's Central Jail. Nurse Walker has been with the Sheriff's Department since 1982.
Nurse Walker took on the job of being the chairperson of MSB's 999 for Kids program for the past 2 years. Nurse Walker set personal monetary goals for what she was hoping to raise in the way of donations from Medical Services Bureau. Nurse Walker found the job profoundly rewarding for her, personally, the first year and said, "I enjoyed the task so much that this year it was so exciting for me to continue."
Nurse Walker met and exceeded her goals. "Last year my goal was to raise $1000. We raised $1300. This year my goal was to raise $2000, and we raised $2102, awesome!" And Nurse Walker shows no sign of slowing down. "I am already thinking of how I can raise more for next year. My goals have not been set in stone yet. $3000 comes to mind but, I'm hoping and praying for much more! I was overjoyed with all the activities last year. It added years of happiness to my life! "
Nurse Nettie Walker is one example of the dedicated and caring members of Medical Services Bureau that valiantly contribute their efforts and time to 999 For Kids. This program reminds us each day of how fortunate we are in life and how thankful we are for the opportunity to serve others. It is a tremendous feat when persons of different backgrounds and experiences come forward to accomplish a single goal of assisting those in need. We encourage you to come forward, share your talents and your time, and with this opportunity you will gain an experience that you will never forget.
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