San Diego Comic-Con News: At the Friday San Diego Comic-Con Retailer Appreciation Lunch, Diamond Comic Distributors announced its involvement with ComicBooks for Kids (CB4K), a new charity which provides free child-friendly comics and graphic novels to children in hospitals, cancer centers and medical facilities across the United States.  Retailers and publishers were invited to participate in multiple ways.

Retailers can contribute directly to the organization, host events where proceeds are donated to CB4K, or donate directly to local hospitals by coordinating with the organization. Donations to/for CB4K are tax deductible, the organization is a certified 501(C) 3 charity, and will provide a donation receipt.

For physical donations, only “new” child-friendly comics, appropriate for readers ages 8 and up can be accepted, due to infectious disease policies of most medical facilities. Self-contained stories (non-serial issues) are preferred. The website suggests donating lots of “common” comics from 1:1000 / 1:2000 variants to the organization as a method of inventory recovery that comes with a tax deduction benefit. All-ages graphic novel donations are welcome as well.

Founder and President Mark Weiss is also happy to coordinate with retailers and their local hospitals. Weiss works directly with interested retailers to answer questions and address specific requirements, issues or concerns. He can also facilitate the introductions to the correct contacts at the hospital or care center, then allow the local parties to coordinate the donation.

Since May, the organization has delivered over 1,500 comic books to over 40 hospitals nationwide.  Weiss, a sales and operations executive specializing in cloud and security infrastructure, is an ardent comics collector, and started CB4K to give back to the comic-loving public. His reward is the smiles he sees in thank you letters from hospital staff, and knowing that the kids have a little something that “lets them be kids again.”

Weiss does not draw a salary from CB4K, and told ICv2 that all monetary donations are used for boxes, packing material, shipping, and website maintenance. He personally audits all donated comics content, to verify it will pass hospital, parent, and child approval. Most boxes shipped to hospitals contain 25 comics, which cover a variety of genres and interests. The program has proved so popular that multiple hospitals have requested additional shipments of new reading material already this year.

Executive sponsorships are welcome as well. Publishers who support CB4K include IDW Publishing, Lion Forge Comics, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, Archie Comics, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics. Corporate Sponsors include Heroes & Fantasies, Corporate Software Services, The Comic Mint, and Boom Arts.  Donation and contact information can be found on the organization’s website.