YouTube is your one stop shop for any kind of video you could ever imagine. Some are pointless, others are educational, and some are inspirational, like the ones Shira Josephson has been uploading since May.
In the beginning of the year the 8-year-old attended a training to become a Junior Ambassador at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It was during this training session that she hatched a brilliant idea—why not start a YouTube channel where she would read to the children who were too sick to have visitors?
In March Shira joined CHLA’s Junior Ambassadors program.
After Shira joined the hospital’s youth fundraising group, she was given a tour of the hospital. When the tour ended the 8-year-old had one question, “Why do we have to stop here?”
She was questioning why the tour didn’t visit any of the other floors, floors that she knew had children on them.
During a tour of the hospital, Shira asked why they didn’t visit all of the floors in the hospital.
According to the hospital staff, they weren’t allowed on the other floors because the children there were too sick for visitors. This frustrated the little girl, especially since this meant those kids weren’t able to take advantage of the hospital’s reading corner she spotted while on the tour.
“She had this frown when I took her out to the car, and I didn’t understand why,” her mother, Brooke Josephson told CHLA. “So on the drive home, I said, ‘Hey, what’s going on? What are you thinking about?’ That’s when she just unloaded all these ideas.”
Shira wanted to start a YouTube channel so she could read to all the sick children.
The 8-year-old wanted to create a place where children at the hospital and around the world could still participate in story time, even if their circumstances prevented them from being physically present. Thus, Shira’s Story Corner was born.
Since Shira started her channel in May she’s continued to upload a video a week. Her production value would be considered low compared to other YouTube channels, but it adds to the authenticity.
“I couldn’t say no, and we just learned as we went along,” Josephson told PEOPLE.
Shira’s mother films her reading in her room as she sits among a pile of stuffed animals.
#shirasstorycorner is featured on @childrensla website today! spread the word about the #jrambassador program and get a copy of Shira's Book, #Thegirlonthesubway all profits go to #chla www.shirasstorycorner.com https://www.chla.org/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/chla-shira-josephson-story-corner.jpg
Josephson films her daughter first with Shira facing Josephson’s iPhone and then another time over Shira’s shoulder so anyone listening to Shira read can follow along.
In addition to creating Shira’s Story Corner, the little girl has also written and published her own book—over the holidays she plans on writing her second book. Sales from both books benefit CHLA and are available on her website.
The little girl hopes that one day patients will write in and request books for her to read.
“If there’s one thing I could tell the children of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, [it’s that] I will do everything I can to make the videos special for you, so you don’t feel alone,” Shira told PEOPLE.
You can follow Shira’s Story Corner on her YouTube channel.