Book of Dreams: Nonprofit receives special wheelchairs – and more

Kimberly Kaufman screamed and jumped up and down when her eyes spied the check from Book of Dreams.

Although her nonprofit organization, Angels for Hearts, had requested $5,000 from The Bee’s annual holiday gift-giving effort, readers generously came forward with more. The check in her mailbox that chilly December afternoon read $5,900.

“We are so grateful,” she said. “It gave us the ability to be able to give more to the hospitals. We’re still speechless.”

Angels for Hearts is a family-run organization that supports pediatric heart patients up to age 18 in Northern California. The group helps fulfill the “wishes, wants and needs” of patients and their families year-round, but particularly during the holidays it seeks to provide gifts for pediatric heart patients at Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento; Sutter Memorial Hospital; UC Davis Children’s Hospital; and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Angels for Hearts asked the Book of Dreams for money to purchase six wheelchairs designed to look like race cars for the pediatric cardiac units at the three hospitals.

In mid-December, a huge truck bearing the wheelchairs and gifts rumbled into the parking lots of the hospitals, and staff and visitors watched in awe as the bounty was unloaded.

“It was an amazing day,” Kaufman said. “I can’t tell you how many people saw the wheelchairs and said, ‘Can I take a spin in that?’ ”

All told, the organization was able to provide 109 children with one to three gifts each, in addition to donation of the wheelchairs.