Santa Monica is making the month count with special CHLA business offers

Santa Monica is making the month count with special CHLA business offers

A unique win-win scenario for customers of Santa Monica and the greater Los Angeles area continues throughout the month of March, helping to fill the stomachs of local residents and the hearts of children in need.

This year marks the ninth annual Make March Matter campaign held by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) to benefit comprehensive pediatric programs supporting infants, children and teens. Throughout the month, businesses in Santa Monica, Venice and the Westside pledged their support for the campaign, making sales donations and featuring specials such as interesting food and beverage selections. The specials raise money for the hospital’s Children’s Fund, which CHLA Vice President of Development and Corporate Partnerships Dawn Wilcox said allows the East Hollywood location to “meet the greatest needs” of patients because the hospital is a nonprofit.

“We have a large percentage of our population that doesn’t have any insurance or is on a government-sponsored program, and the reimbursement for those programs is not enough to actually cover the costs,” Wilcox said. “So philanthropy and community is what helps us bridge that gap.”

Wilcox was the mastermind behind the campaign, inspired by CHLA’s butterfly logo to consider a spring philanthropic partnership that touches on themes of hope and renewal. With 40 businesses signing up for the inaugural Make March Matter initiative, that number has doubled in the years since the initial grassroots effort.

“It’s been so meaningful to me to see how the community has embraced this campaign as their own and people come up with their own creative ideas, their own way of promoting … it makes a difference,” Wilcox added.

Santa Monica got involved in the creative, ranging from new partners to those who have been with CHLA since the beginning. The children’s charity’s returning champions include leading national partners such as Panda Express, who are taking donations alongside purchases in March, as well as local eateries such as Cobi’s, who will donate a portion of the proceeds from purchases of a toasted coconut sandwich and vanilla ice cream of CHLA.

Other dining endeavors are a $1 donation from Sweetfin for every guava lemonade purchased, a portion of proceeds donated from special orders of BBQ chicken pizza at Prince Street Pizza and a 25% donation for every special edition Make March Matter donut purchased at Randy’s Donuts.

After the food and drinks, locals can get active during the two-event Make March Matter in Santa Monica. At Hotel Proper, a portion of the sales and management fees from the yoga classes will be donated to CHLA. Meanwhile, Third Street Promenade’s newest athletic haven PicklePop will host a charity pickleball tournament on March 23 from 2 to 5 p.m.

With about 80 partners in total, plus the ability to set up a donation page through the Make March Matter website, Wilcox has plenty to keep track of, and he’s doing so by seeing the campaign’s impact firsthand.

“I think what keeps us so inspired every day is CHLA’s mission,” Wilcox said. “Once you even walk through our lobby and see the patients and families, you see the impact. That’s a big reason why I came (here) is because I realized that I can be close to the impact of all the efforts … sometimes people never see where (the funds are going) … and I can just see it every day. I see him walking through the hospital and I see him when a patient interacts with a therapy dog ​​or when a volunteer hands out a box of Play Doh and a child smiles even though they may have had a rough day. You know, it’s just beautiful and it keeps us motivated and inspired and makes us want to do more.”

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