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Nick’s Picks First Quarter Newsletter


Nick’s Picks VIP for January
(Very Important Patient)

Name: Aryk Saldivar
Age:  7
Location: El Cajon, California

MY STORY (As told by Angel Saldivar, Aryk’s mom)
Aryk has a disorder leading to low antibody levels and immune issues, requiring regular IVIg infusions and medicines and SO many appointments. Despite his health issues, Aryk always has a positive attitude and is a fabulous student, even though he has to miss a lot of school!

Aryk received his Nick’s Picks backpack at Rady Children’s Hospital. His mom connected with Nick through Facebook and the Nick’s Picks website, and finally, two years later, Nick and Aryk met at the hospital when Nick came to visit him at the infusion center. They immediately bonded and kicked off a long-term friendship.They love updating each other on their lives, health issues and just every day kid stuff!

Hard pressed to pick a favorite from the backpack, Aryk loves his Seal -he named him Fluffy-and carries him to every appointment and testing. The Rubik’s twist helps keep him entertained, and of course the backpack goes with him to all of his infusions!

Aryk has a passion for school and loves to read. He also loves Star Wars. Showing his determination, Aryk has played soccer, karate and t-ball!

Nick and Aryk have gotten to talk and play Legos when he’s in the hospital for infusions. “Aryk is so brave and funny. He seems interested in everything. He is always upbeat and smiling and you can’t help but smile when you’re with him. I wish I could help him more.”

Nick’s Picks at the Palm Desert Lacrosse Classic

The weekend after Thanksgiving was full of lacrosse and amazing people. Coach Matt Holman of EMW Foundation invited me to have a Nick’s Picks booth at the Palm Desert Lacrosse Classic to raise awareness for my organization.

“Nick’s Picks is an outstanding example of blending the “creator’s game” and doing good for others. I was raised with lacrosse being a means to impart life lessons. There is no greater lesson than the service of others. I hope other young men find their own Nick’s Picks within the game.Nick is an exceptional young man. I am a better person for having met and become friends with him”- coach Matt Holman

We had a prize wheel with great prizes including Hoven Vision sunglasses and a “snacks for donation bar”. We raised enough money for 20 backpacks for kids that need them!

Everyone was really supportive including my Bunch Nation-12 coaches and teammates.

Make a Difference in 2016

Please start off the year by supporting Nick’s Picks every time you shop online this year! There are several ways you can donate and make a difference with a contribution to Nick’s Picks

Shop AmazonSmile 

Everyone shops on Amazon, all the time! AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Nick’s Picks every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit and select Nick’s Picks as your charity and when you shop a portion purchase price will go to Nick’s Picks.

Contribute through

Visit and select Nick’s Picks as your charity of choice. iGive has partnerships with more than 1700 retailers including The Gap, Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus, Apple and Bed Bath & Beyond.  Every time you shop you will see the percentage of your sale donated to Nick’s Picks.

Shop Hoven Vision 

Need some new fabulous sunglasses? Hoven Vision, a generous Nick’s Picks sponsor, has a 20% off promotion. Visit, shop for your favorite sunglasses or apparel, and enter code “nickspicks” at checkout to receive your 20% discount sitewide.


Take care of your skin and give back

Throughout the month of December, Dermatology & Laser of Del Mar featured amazing SkinMedica gift sets. The gift sets ranged in price from $50-$200 and offered a collective of SkinMedica products at an incredible value. All proceeds went to Nick’s Picks with each $50 donation providing one backpack to a hospitalized youth during the holidays. As an added bonus, for each backpack sponsored, Nick’s Picks donated beautiful Christmas tree ornaments to the holiday tree at the San Diego Ronald McDonald House. Stay tuned for more opportunities like this to support Nick’s Picks.

Looking Ahead to 2016

Nick at the Notre Dame Grotto lighting candles for his hospital buddies

I feel so inspired when I look back at the growth Nick’s Picks has seen in 2015. Thanks to the support we received last year from our sponsors and donors, I have been able to add Notre Dame’s Memorial Children’s Hospital of South Bend, Indiana and Children’s Hospital of Orange County to the list of Hospitals we serve. We distributed over 600 backpacks last year and have made a difference in the lives of so many sick kids. Most importantly, I want to continue my “epidemic of compassion” that my organization is founded upon.

I have also set a goal to inspire other kids to give back. It would be awesome if a few of those who have received Nick’s Picks’ backpacks would act as Nick’s Picks ambassadors in their communities, whether it be here, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Indiana, or elsewhere, and distribute backpacks for us.

I am also working toward more community involvement with Nick’s Picks. Del Mar Heights Elementary School was a great support to me in 2015, and I look forward to working with them again in the Spring of 2016.

Nick’s Picks Partners with Del Sol Lions International

The Lions International Del Sol chapter is one of my newest supporters. Thanks to their generous donation, I was able to provide even more backpacks to kids this past holiday season. I am also really excited that the members of the chapter are going to organize and staff a Nick’s Picks backpack assembly line! We will dedicate an afternoon to assembling and packing up backpacks for distribution. This is a huge help, especially since I plan to deliver A LOT of backpacks in the next few months!

The Del Sol Lions are a chapter of Lions International, the largest service organization in the world with more than 1.3 million members. Del Sol Lions primary mission is to provide services to youth and those in need in the local and nearby communities. Since 2010, the Del Sol Lions have raised more than $60,000 for 125 service programs in the local community.

I am so honored to have their support and look forward to working with them to get backpacks to kids that need them.


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