The Association of Friends of the University Children's hospitals is a charitable organization, founded in 1993, which supports the five Finnish university children's hospitals, development and research, and attempts to improve the comfort of patients during their hospital stay. Over recent years, the association has also placed significant attention on the mental health work of children and adolescents. Throughout its course, the Association of Friends of the University Children's hospitals has made donations of about 36 million euros.
Delivering excellence with modern medical equipment.
Children in Finland are provided with the possibility to recover from even the most serious diseases. This has been contributed to by high standard research and treatment procedures, and their development and acquisitions have been financially supported by private and official bodies. Measures are required for the upkeep of the high standards. The budgetary resources of hospitals are not sufficient for the acquisition of all of the necessary equipment, and assistance is constantly needed. The equipments used for medical treatments are constantly in use and it is essential that they are regularly serviced and replaced when necessary. The support provided by the Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals allows the children's hospitals to maintain the best possible stock of equipment. The donations forwarded by the association are used to acquire, among others, incubators, infusion automats (for the drug dosages of patients), and patient monitoring devices, for example, a cardiac ultrasound device that allows surgeons and cardiologists to assess the need for surgery without having to perform open surgery and for the advance planning of operations, in so far as surgery is considered to be necessary.
Comfort during hospital stays plays an important part in the healing process.
The Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals makes every possible effort to make the patients’ time at a children's hospital as pleasant as possible. Many little patients will actually have to spend more time at a children's hospital than in their own homes, at worst, even years. Thus, in addition to the improvement in treatment procedures and equipment, it is also important that the wards of the children's hospitals are made as comfortable as possible for the patients. With the resources of the Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals, various forms of stimuli are acquired for the children’s hospitals, from games to books and from televisions to game consoles. In addition, waiting and patient rooms are pleasantly decorated. An important part in making the hospital stay more pleasant for the patients are the visits by the friends of the association to all of the children's hospitals. A pampering day is also arranged for the parents, in order to try to help them cope with their long periods alongside the sickbeds.
Pediatric research work brings security to the future.
By supporting pediatric research and the training of nursing staff, it is possible to develop more efficient, safer and less painful research and treatment procedures for young patients. It is now possible to treat many of the most serious illnesses nowadays as a result of this research. About half of the research grants which are annually distributed by the Pediatric Research Foundation originate from the Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals. In 2010, the support towards research, provided by the Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals, was distributed towards the following sectors: children's spinal diseases, maternal gestational nutrition, the effectiveness of medical care on children’s arthritis, viral infections and asthma, children's liver transplants, the early development of the electrical activity of the brain, bronchiolitis, otitis treatment, the early recognition of mental health problems, mycobacterial-infection, Kallman syndrome, the effects of childhood leukaemia treatment on the development of a boy’s sexual development, children’s osteoporosis, the health status of children adopted and brought to Finland.
Effective work in the prevention of mental health problems in children and adolescents.
Over recent years, the society in Finland has been the victim of a number of horrifying examples resulting from the mental health problems of children and adolescents. Now, action is needed - precise symptomatic treatment, as well as the pro-active prevention of the mental health problems of children and adolescents for the future. Adolescent mental disorders are unfortunately fairly common. As much as 20% of young people suffer from some form of mental health problem and, therefore, it is a major health threat in our present society. The Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals places a great deal of emphasis in working against the mental health problems of children and adolescents, such as campaigns which raise awareness and the support for treatments. A part of this is also education with the objective of eradicating school bullying and the funding of research towards dealing with school bullying.
Events and campaigns are at the core of the association’s fund-raising activities.
The basis for the fundraising of the Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals is the versatile operations of the association, and above all, events, which involve companies, organizations and private individuals. The association organizes a wide range of events, from television concerts to sporting events - the jewel in the crown is the Elämä Lapselle (Life for Children) concert, which is one of the most renowned entertainment events in Finland. The association includes more than 400 well known individuals from the entertainment, sports, culture and business fields, which assist various fundraising campaigns free of charge. They are also involved in, among others, hospital visits and a variety of corporate and public events. Teemu Selänne, a famous Finnish NHL ice hockey player, acts as a “friend of the friends”, according to which, the symbol of the association, Teemu the teddy bear, is named. Practical work is performed by the employees of the Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals in Helsinki. In addition to the fundraising campaigns, a significant part of the association’s fundraising pot is comprised of direct donations, bequests and various business cooperation agreements.
Donations - by participating, you will help.
Donation opportunities can be found at www.kummit.fi. Donations can be directed towards the desired destination. General donations (not donations to specific individual targets) are divided so that 30% go towards the Pediatric Research Foundation and from the remaining revenue, 2 / 6 are directed towards HYKS Children’s Hospital and one sixth to the children’s hospitals of Turku, Tampere, Oulu and Kuopio. The reason for Helsinki receiving a larger amount is due to the superior number of patients - HYKS Children’s Hospital treats children all over Finland.
Opportunities for cooperation 2011 – presentation (pdf) – click the document attached
Sponsorship is one of the most popular forms of commercial partnership; usually an event is sponsored, as main sponsor or as some other form of commercial partner. The Association of Friends events are professionally planned, the performers are well-known - often both nationally and internationally - and the media has always shown a great interest in the events.
In the televised concerts (Elämä Lapselle, Joulu Mielelle) the sponsors get their logo visible or are mentioned in all marketing material: Press advertising, TV ads, sides on buses, cheque donations on stage/own insert, radio advertising. The commercial partner also gets the rights for having a royalty campaign for the collection of funds.
In sports events (golf, bowling) the sponsor’s logo will be visible in the players’ shirts and by that in various media. The logo is also incorporated in all marketing material, and on-site in a separately arranged way.
The Association of Friends can also be supported by purchasing company tickets or by registering teams to the Association of Friends sports events.
An agreed upon amount of money is given to charity from the sale of a certain product or service. The contract is valid for one year at a time, and the minimum donation is 10 000 €, which the company guarantees and in return receives the following.
The following is included in the one-year contract
1. The right to use the Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospital’s Teemu-teddy bear logo in the company's marketing for the duration of the contract (normally a calendar year).
2. Two A4-sized four-colour announcements in the Kummit-magazine, and an article regarding the partnership.
3. Logo on our commercial partners page on our web site, link to the commercial partner's web site.
4. Opportunity to during either the Elämä Lapselle or the Joulu Mielelle concert in text format show your campaign's final donated amount.
5. The funds donated will in its entirety go to the recipient of the company's choice. The recipient may also be mentioned in the company's marketing and press information.
6. The company may visit the children's hospital in order to donate the for the collected funds acquired equipment, and may also use photos taken during the visit for its own marketing purposes.
Through the Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals you can also support child patients on a monthly basis. You can choose both the recipient and the amount of your donation. The donator will receive the Kummit-magazine volume. The donations are sent to the clinics biannually. It is also possible for a company to be a monthly donator.
Become a monthly donator
Your own Association of Friends ward
A company has the opportunity to have a ward at one of the five University Children’s Hospitals in Finland as its own Association of Friends ward. Once the company has decided to become the caregiver of a ward, it will receive information regarding the different wards and their needs. After a ward has been chosen, a visit to the ward is made, a plan of action is laid down and a time schedule is planned. The company can for example have as its project to refurnish the ward or assist the ward in the acquiring of necessary equipment. All opportunities exist for the company to make its project as visible as it desires. Taking advantage of the partnership by the use of photos and stories for both internal and external marketing makes the project a very efficient and visible campaign.
Once a company becomes the caregiver of a ward, it pledges to according to the timeframe that was given deliver the agreed upon acquisitions. The project can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, e.g. a royalty cooperation or by a direct donation. The Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals gives its full help and cooperation for the success of the project. The minimum donation for becoming the caregiver of a ward is 10 000 €.
All of the acquisitions and donations of the company will go directly to the wards.
The Association of Friends products
There are a great variety of high-quality products for sale wearing the Association of Friends Teemu-teddy bear logo. The selection includes different kinds of textiles, utilities and small souvenirs. We also have Christmas cards, which are extremely popular. The products can be found in our online store.
Direct donations are a major form of corporate charity. Companies can if they wish donate to the University Children’s Hospitals for example on Christmas, or for the company’s anniversary. The donations may be targeted to a specific recipient, and can also include various products and /or services that the company offers.
By making a donation that exceeds 1000 € during one of the Association of Friends televised concerts (Elämä Lapselle, Joulu Mielelle), the company will get its greeting visible on the concert’s live broadcast on MTV3, Finland’s largest commercial television channel.
Matti Valli (Comms and Marketing Manager)