Joke books to fund children’s medical grants

SAN BENITO — Laughter may be the best medicine, but these children’s joke books are working to help children heal in more ways than one.

Joke books containing funny little treats written by children are being sold to fund medical grants for families in Texas through the United Healthcare Children’s Foundation.

Dave Milich, CEO of the commercial health plan for Texas, said for the past couple of years the foundation has been publishing joke books aimed at children to raise money for the foundation.

The foundation’s grant helps families obtain access to the care they need for children for medical services that are not traditionally covered by insurance.

Families without insurance are also eligible to receive the grant.

“You don’t have to be covered by United Healthcare to get the grant,” Milich said.

Since 1999, the foundation has awarded more than 14,000 grants to families in need and the joke book is one of many merchandise items being sold to help fund the families.

“It started a few years back where individual children write these jokes that get put into the books,” Milich said. “Sometimes the grant recipients submit jokes.”

Milich said every year, 40 to 50 children submit a joke to be published.

This year, that list included young San Benito comedian Aiden Barrera who was published in the “Eats, Treats and Sweets” book.

Aiden’s mother, Celina Barrera, said she had received an invitation through her job with United Healthcare about possible joke submissions.

Barrera said Aiden was excited to be able to submit a joke.

“He likes to make jokes here and there,” Barrera said.

The 10-year-old often asks his mother to post his jokes on Facebook for her friends to see.

Aiden said he likes making people laugh and the fact that his joke is part of a book that helps kids.

Excited, Barrera said Aiden has been taking his book to school to show his friends and teacher, even bookmarking the page his joke is on.

To buy a book, support the foundation

Q: How does Lady Gaga like her steak?

A: Raw, raw, raw, raw, raw

To buy a book or support the United Healthcare Children’s Foundation go to