Jackie's Video

Click below to see Jenny suprise Jackie in front of her house.

Jackie's Photos

Click images to see larger view.

Jackie's VIP Tour

Meet Jackie from Ventura County, California

Our newest hero is Jackie from Ventura County, California.  Jackie is a shift leader at a bakery-deli and her dream is to give back to Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles for the outstanding care they took of her newborn daughter who had suffered a stroke just weeks after her birth.  This is also her daughter's dream who is now 12 years old.  They plan to inundate the children at the hospital with toys, games, laptop computers, motor scooters (for kids in wheelchairs), library books, a massage chair, and a big screen TV.  They will also provide special flight suits for doctors and nurses on life-saving helicopter flights.

These flights suits will also include helmets fitted with built-in microphones so the doctors and nurses can communicate. Jackie and her daughter have chosen specific toys and games for each age group from rattles, crib toys, and one-sies for newborns, to soft dolls and pop-up toys for toddlers, to model planes, Barbie/Bratz dolls, and action figures for school age kids. Then there are ipods, dvd and cd players, Nintendos & Wii for older kids, and the list goes on. When the items are finally delivered, we’ll post a complete list.

I surprised Jackie at her home with the news that she will be giving this wonderful gift to the Childrens Hospital. Damon and I drove there and met with a reporter and photographer from the Ventura County Star. Damon shot some video of the surprise which will be posted next week, and he also took pictures, some of which are already over there to the left. What a great family, and Arnie used to live just outside Chicago, where I taped my talk show.

Jackie and Hannah will be visiting the hospital personally before finalizing their mega shopping list. It's this extra effort to make sure the hospital receives exactly what they need that makes this hero a true role model. Imagine how lucky her children are to have Jackie's footsteps to follow in life.

On March 4th, mom and daughter were also featured on B95 radio with "Bo in the Morning."

In her own words, here is Jackie's account of Hannah's experience at Childrens Hospital...

When Hannah was born, almost immediately she developed a blocked tear duct in her left eye. After a few weeks of trying
to un-block the tear duct with conventional methods (compresses), we were told Hannah needed to have surgery to
correct it. The day after surgery we were shopping and I started to feed her a bottle and I noticed one of her iris' were red and the other was blue. When I called the Pediatric Ophthalmologist's office that day they told me that could not possibly be....

When I brought Hannah to the doctor's the following day before they told me what they felt was going on they called my husband at work and asked him to come to the office so they could talk to both of us. They told us the Hannah had a
stroke, and and they did not know why. The stroke (Vein Eye Occlusion) exploded in Hannah's left eye and she became
blind in her her left eye at 6 weeks old. We were told if the stroke had gone anywhere else it would have killed her.

We ended up at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles because of their reputation. We saw a Hematology Doctor named Thomas
Hofstra who to this day we credit with saving Hannah's life as well as diagnosing her. She was diagnosed with "Protein C Dificiency" ( they explained to us that her blood was too thick) so they put her on anticoagulation with Coumadin. She stayed on the meds for about 6 months. For the first year of Hannah's life we visited Children's just about every week. After about a year Hannah grew out of the Protein C Deficiency, but not the effects of the stroke on her eye.

She has no depth perception and she cannot see the 3D part of a 3D movie. Over the years she has played Soccer, Softball,
Dance and Track and Field. She is also a honor student. Unfortunately, she will always be "legally blind" in her left eye. For Hannah this is all she knows. Although she can see (only) the top line of the eye chart with her left eye, we have been told by the doctors that she does not even use her left eye and essentially turns it off and uses only her good eye to see.

The future is endless for Hannah. She has overcome so many obstacles in her young life that we cannot imagine anything she can't do.

Jackie and Arnie

Diary Starts Here

August 20, 2008
Childrens Hospital finally received the last of Jackie's gifts this morning. Three months ago Jackie and I personally delivered a truck full of toys, notebooks, games, computers, TVs, books, movies, and flight suits, but we've been waiting for a Starlight Starbright Fun Center to arrive and it finally did. Damon and I met Jackie at the hospital where we were given a VIP tour and then a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting of the new Fun Center. Dr. Hofstra was there and I even got a lesson in Wii games from Jackie's son Jered. Then everyone watched while I bowled with Ivan, a 9-year old patient at the hospital. Dr. Hofstra thanked Jackie and me and said that the memory notebooks Jackie donated were a great idea and were being used by many of the parents. It was a great morning and we are very proud of Jackie, our fourth hero of 2008.

click the image to see a slideshow

June 27, 2008
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! Today is Jackie and Arnie's 15th wedding anniversary. Mazel Tov!

June 23, 2008
Believe it or not, Jackie's gifts are not all delivered yet. One of the coolest ones she purchased is the Ninendo Wii Fun Center and she says it will be ready for delivery in just about a month. From what I've heard about them, it will be worth the wait.

June 2, 2008
Good news: The flight suits finally arrived and the staff of the hospital's Emergency Transport Services said to express their thanks for the gift that will help keep them safe during flight!

May 15, 2008
This was a very special day. We finally delivered all of Jackie's gifts to Childrens Hospital! They set up a table outside in the Healing Garden and we piled up a bunch of the gifts on it, then they invited some of the staff and a few of the young patients to join us. I talked a bit about Jackie and how personal this was for her. Her daughter's life was saved at this hospital and she could have simply asked for a donation to be made in her behalf but instead, she chose to provide exactly what they needed. She went to the hospital first and asked what they needed the most. Then she went shopping. Jackie personally selected every single item that was given to this outstanding organization, from every single book and DVD to the big screen TVs and flight suits. Here's what Jackie delivered to Childrens Hospital today:
~9 Helicopter Flight Suits and Helmets
~2 HD Big Screen TVs
~4 Lap Top Computers
~6 Portable DVD Players
~A 5-Disc DVD Player
~80 DVDs
~25 Computer Games
~80 Books
~A Wii Fun Center
~100 Memory Notebooks
~100 Embroidered Blankets
~Various Toys & Stuffed Animals
~$1,000 to cover TV installations
Jackie was thoughful enough to make sure we covered the cost of installing the new TVs. She selected the words to embroider on all the blankets. And with the flight suits, she only purchased four of them, the other five she got donated from an old high school friend. What are the odds? Her friend Andy Cooper was a C-130E flight engineer w/the 146th Tactical Airlift Wing. Hey Andy, thank you so much!! (send us your picture)

click the image to see a slideshow

We are so proud of Jackie for all the gifts she delivered today to Childrens Hospital. They will bring joy to many children and their parents for years to come. Jackie, Mazel Tov on your MItzvah!

May 14, 2008
Damon rented a truck this morning, then he and Denis drove to Jackie's house to pick up all the gifts for Childrens Hospital. They also stopped at Best Buy to pick up some TVs since there was no room in Jackie's home to store them. It's a big truckload of stuff! But what happened was they drove from our house to the truck rental, left the car there, got the truck, and headed out. On the way back, they were supposed to swing by the rental place to get the car and bring both the truck and the car back to the house. They forgot and left the car there! So they just left in another car to go get the first car. It was pretty funny. We're all getting ready for the big delivery tomorrow.

May 11, 2008
It's going to be an exciting week. We are delivering Jackie's gifts to Childrens Hospital on Thursday. It's $25,000 worth of toys, games, DVDs, electronics, flight suits and more. Since I live here too, I'll get to be there when a truckload of presents pulls up at the front entrance of the hospital. Jackie and Arnie will be there with their children and we'll take lots of pictures to share with everyone.

April 8, 2008
Jackie has spent a lot of time on her project because it's so personal for her. She has already purchased computers, notebooks, blankets, books, and video games for the Children's Hospital. TV's are next. All of her purchases were customized by Jackie and we truly appreciate the time she has put in, as well as coordinating with the hospital to make sure they get exactly what they need.

March 18, 2008
Jackie has been working hard putting her massive gift package together for the Children's Hospital. She's already been to the hospital, met with the Starlight Foundation, ordered books from Amazon, bargain shopped at Best Buy, and she even has flight suits already. It won't be long before it's all ready to be delivered to the hospital. If you look up "pro-active" in the dictionary, you just might see Jackie's picture. We think that's terrific.

March 7, 2008
Jackie and Hannah visited the Childrens Hospital today and met with Dr. Hofstra, who treated Hannah over ten years ago. They discussed what things the hospital needed most and then they were given a VIP tour of the place. They even got to tour the helipad which few people ever get to see. Jackie took photos and we will post them as soon as we receive them.

02/29/08: Jenny wrote... "Congratulations, Jackie. What a wonderful gift this will be! It was great meeting you and your family."

02/29/08: Damon wrote... "It was so great to surprise you and your wonderful family today. You're doing some fabulous things for the children at the hospital and you should be very proud. Congrats!"

02/29/08: Arnie wrote... "I am so proud of you. Thank you for the best 15 years of my life. Love,
your husband"

02/29/08: Ken wrote... "Hey… good work! (Don’t tell Arnie I said so, but you should be proud of him; he is always beaming about how well you and the kids are doing)"

02/29/08: Lori wrote... "You Go Girl!!!
I am so happy for you and your adorable daughter! What a wonderful feeling to be able to give to those in need :) You enjoy every minute of it!!!
You are a true Saint! ;)"

02/29/08: Gary wrote... "Hi, Jackie! What wonderful news! A BIG Mazel Tov! Your thoughtfulnes will bring joy to countless numbers of kids and families in very stressful times. Mazel Tov! -gk "

02/29/08: Nancy wrote... "Hey Jackie – Congrats! I bet you are on cloud nine right now, we are all very proud of you! Love,
Nancy, Jeff, Lindsey, Lexi 7 patches"

02/29/08: n.d. wrote... "Hi, Jackie!
What an incredible gift you are giving to the Children's Hospital!!! You have such a wonderful, caring heart. Mazel Tov!!!"

02/29/08: Arnie wrote... "What a wonderful thing you are doing. We're proud to say we know you.
Arnie & Phyllis Bellair"

2/29/08: Lynne wrote... "Jackie, Wow!! We are so happy for you and Hannah to be able to give back to Children's Hospital. The items you have chosen will be greatly appreciated by the families needing treatment. My family and I are very proud of you.
Mazel Tov!! Lynne, Gary, Jonny and Josh"

02/29/08: Mark & Tracy wrote... "Congrats Jackie!
As you know, Children's Hospital hold a special place in our hearts too. Thanks for giving back to a truly life saving place. Mark and Tracy Varshawsky"

03/01/08: Laura wrote... "Mazel Tov, Jackie! You totally rock! This is an incredible gift to the children... you will bring smiles to many, many faces! Laura S.Z."

03/01/08: Hershey wrote... "what a wonderful thing you are doing for the hospital.....I'm very proud of you. I think this is great. you are to be commended for your effort. Love Hershey {your father in law}"

03/01/08: Jered wrote... "congratulations mommy"

03/01/08: Karyn wrote... "Jackie, The thoughtful, caring person that you are makes us proud! I can only imagine how happy you, Arnie and the kids, especially Hannah, are to be able to do this great thing for Children's Hospital."

03/01/08: Al wrote... "That's my family and I am VERY proud of them. Love from Papa Al"

03/01/08: Paula wrote... "Dear Jackie, Hi! I am your cousin, Paula Verbit. My mother is Edith Blitstein. Mazel Tov on your Mitzvah!"

03/01/08: Rich wrote... "Jackie, I'm so happy for you. Congratulations. It's great to see nice things happen to nice people. And the method you've chosen for giving back is a terrific idea! Rich Eidman"

03/02/08: Hershey wrote... "Dear Jackie, You have made me a very proud father-in-law and grandfather, thanks to your follow through with Jenny Jones. You and Hannah are to be commended on your thoughtfulness.: Love Hershey (Zadie)"

03/02/08: Howie wrote... "Proud to have you as part of our family. You could not have picked a better organization to help out. Children's Hospital is very close to our heart too. Uncle Howie and Debbie"

03/02/08: Sandy wrote... "Jackie: Congratulations! You are going to bring so much happiness to those children at the Hospital! J Way to go girl! Take care!-Sandy Suarez"

03/02/08: Jen wrote... "I am so proud of all of you and this incredible gift. The giving we do in life sets the tone as to who we are and you have proven to be generous and thoughtful in so many ways. Your gift (with additional thanks to Jenny Jones) will be received by so many and the lives that you will brighten and save will forever be because of your kindness. I love you all and couldn't be more excited for you. All my love, Jen (and family)"

03/02/08: Terri wrote..."Hi Jackie, what a lovely gift you are giving to the kids and the hospital! You are a terrific role model for your children as well."

03/03/08: Nina wrote... "Jackie, We are all so proud of what you have done. While Hannah's the inspiration for all of this, you are truly the hero. Easily, you could have continued on in your life and done nothing for Children's Hospital and focused only on Hannah and your family's needs. Hannah is clearly very capable of taking on the world; she is a survivor and she's truly a very lovely young lady. You are essence of generosity and thoughtfulness. This is a true mitzvah. Mazel Tov!!!!
nina & the gboyz"

03/03/08: Lisa wrote... "Hi Jackie, I'm a friend of Nancy's from our old days in the Valley. She shared your wonderful story with me. Mazel tov to you, Hannah and your family. Your gift will touch so many people. What a mitzvah! And, what a wonderful program Jenny Jones has created to help people help others. Lisa L."

03/03/08: Christine wrote... "Jackie, you are awesome! What a wonderfully generous gift this will be to the Children’s Hospital. I’m so glad I was there this morning to watch you receive this surprise! Your family is very lucky to have such a giving mom! I can’t wait to see the list of items the hospital will get! We love you and thanks for all you do for the community! Xoxox – Christine and family"

03/04/08: Aunt Sherry wrote... "The 14th Dalai Lama said, "The true essence of humankind is kindness. There are other qualities which come from education or knowledge, but it is essential, if one wishes to be a genuine human being and impart satisfying meaning to one's existence, to have a good heart." Congratulations, Jackie. We are so proud of you and Arnie and the children. Love, Aunt Sherry."

03/06/08: Travis wrote... "Way To Go...This will help out in a major way, from the kids on up to the staff that are working... As an Xbox 360 player, I know how much this will help the kids take there mind off of things..."

03/06/08: Anthony wrote... "Wow Jackie, that is awesome. What seemed as such a horrible scare for you and your daughter, has turned into release the angels in your Heart!., Take this moment with your daughter and have lots of fun and love, putting smiles on those childrens faces."

03/08/08: BenGer wrote... "Dear Jackie - Your kindness and generosity should be a beacon of hope and kindness for everyone to follow. We could not be prouder of you and the good works that your efforts will lead to."

03/12/08: Julie A. wrote... "Dear Jackie, What a wonderful inspirational you are for us all. My very best for you and your daughter as you give back to the community. As a former hospital patient,I can assure you, this generous thought will help so many children while getting treatment and then some!
Kudos, and congratulations for both you and Jenny Jones."

03/13/08: Lupita G. Director of Corporate Relations, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, wrote... "Dear Jackie and Hannah, It was a pleasure meeting you both last Friday. We are so happy that you are able to fulfill your dream of giving back to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles by being selected as one of Jenny's Heroes! On behalf of our young patients and their families we thank you for your compassion and caring."

03/20/08: Bobby & Kathleen wrote... "Hi Jackie-What a wonderful thing you are doing for families-we're so excited for you! Congratulations!"

01/20/09: Joyce Gelfand wrote... "Hi, Jackie, Mazel Tov from cousin Joyce and family from Chicago (and now Florida!) on being a Jenny's hero. I recognized your picture on the website. We are all so proud of everything you have done for the Children's hospital. Take good care and say hi to the family. Love, Joyce"