11 year old Sara Clein is the founder of the iPad Lending Library - iPads for kids that are battling cancer.
Beth and Josh Pinsky wanted to do something to help other children who were going through cancer treatment like their son, Aaron Pinsky, 6.
“But Josh jokes it took someone much smarter to come up with a plan,” said Aaron’s aunt, Deborah Clein.
That person was Aaron’s cousin, Sarah Clein, 11.
The plan for Aaron’s iPad lending library — a program that puts iPads into area hospitals for children to use during their cancer treatment — started as a community service project assigned in Sarah’s fourth-grade class at Binks Forest Elementary School in Wellington last year.
“I thought about how important Aaron’s iPad had been during his treatment and stay in the hospital,” Sarah said. “It was the only way we were able to communicate with each other.”
The iPads not only provided entertainment for children during treatment, but also access to family and the outside world. Since Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood had only one iPad for all its patients, Sarah came up with the idea to create a lending library.
With her mother’s help, she began writing letters to companies and selling bracelets to raise enough money to purchase iPads and cases for the hospital. She even donated her own tooth fairy money.
“Our original goal was to raise enough for 10 iPads,” Deborah Clein said. “But then we started to get donations from the community. The Hollywood Police Department donated four iPads.”
Ultimately, they were able to donate 16 iPads and cases to the hospital.
“We were so excited,” Sarah said. “I wanted to continue helping other hospitals in South Florida.”
Sarah, her mother, aunt, uncle and cousin continued their hard work by starting the nonprofit Team Aaron.
They collected donations and partnered with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Wellington, which donated their used iPads. They also have partnerships with Otter Box and other iPad case companies.
Team Aaron will be donating 10 iPads to Palm Beach Children’s Hospital in West Palm Beach.
“It would just be great if we could donate iPads to all the children’s hospitals in South Florida,” Sarah said. “Every kid should be able to have an iPad while going through treatment.”