Upper Patch, through fundraising and profits from customized clothing sales, is designed to help children in hospitals by providing them with toys, books, and art supplies to pass the time and feel more emotionally sound. Not only do these toys and supplies help with the emotional toll of the recovery process, but feeling happier and less lonely can also positively impact the physical recovery process.
Over 5.8 million children stay in hospitals each year. Especially with COVID-19, children are often alone during their stays as visitors are restricted. The average hospital stay for an American child is 5.5 days, and the number of days can be even higher for a child with a chronic illness. Of these children, 61% have parents who both work, making it even more difficult for the majority of children to have a family support system during their stays away from home. A toy, often viewed as a simple gesture of kindness, can serve as a distraction as well as a source of joy and emotional support.
I am Sabrina Barlava, I am 16 and was born with Spina Bifida, and Scoliosis. In 2017, I got back surgery and had to stay in Children’s Hospital Los Angles (CHLA) for a few days. While there, I was lucky enough to have friends and family to always visit me, but other were not, and were in the hospital alone all day. I also noticed that while I was there, that the hospital would pass out toys to all the kids. Those toys would bring so much happiness and joys to all of the kids. After this experience, I wanted to find a way to help, so I started Upper Patch!
I really appreciate all the support you all have given me, and helping me in donating over $5,000 worth of toys in the last year and a half!