Holiday Heroes

The mission of Holiday Heroes is to provide joy and entertainment to children who are seriously ill by hosting themed hospital parties each month. Over the last decade, Holiday Heroes has become an established partner for children’s hospitals across the country with a growing national footprint.

Holiday Heroes delivers a little fun with a big impact.  As part of our hospital party experience we offer themed age specific activity boxes, catered meals for the family, and gift cards.  We are also able to have Superheroes visit in person and virtually with these special children.

Every 30 seconds a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Holiday Heroes partners with hospitals to provide happy distractions for children confined to the hospital.   We take a child’s mind away from the stress and anxiety of being in the hospital with a day of play, thereby promoting better recovery from their illness.

“Holiday Heroes experiences have not only positively impacted the pediatric patients but have helped our medical team, such as nurses or doctors, quickly build rapport and bridge the gap with our patients, by being able to upon meeting a patient give them a positive distraction to focus on during their hospital stay.” – Katelyn Beyer, Coordinator of Child Life Services at Evanston Hospital and Certified Child Life Specialist

 

Check out what Holiday Heroes is all about.

 

What we do is important!

No one wants to be in the hospital, especially kids. It’s stressful, scary, and isolating for them, their families and their caregivers. For hospitalized children, a little fun makes a big impact! Parties and play take a child’s mind away from the pain, anxiety and stresses of being hospitalized; encouraging healthy social development and better recovery from illness.

All of the emotions children and their families experience when in the hospital are accentuated when that child is being treated for a critical or chronic illness. The usual everyday activities are often replaced with unfamiliar, overwhelming, daunting and, in many cases, painful tasks. Happiness can be hard to find when you’re being poked and prodded every day.

Pediatricians and Psychiatrists have long recognized that caring for children with chronic medical and mental health conditions requires a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach towards taking care of the whole child.  The implication of persistent, debilitating symptoms can lead to lifelong social disabilities impairing quality of life and function for both patients and families.  Institutions recognize this imperative need and strive to provide comprehensive care to the chronically ill child.  They want to promote realistic and normal child-rearing attitudes during this crucial developmental stage.  This is essential to allow the child to develop a healthy self-image and become socially capable to realize their potential in a productive, successful way.  “As advocates for pediatric health, our ultimate mission must be to advance best practices in the care of not just a few, but all children.  We must work together as an integrated and multidisciplinary team if we are to accomplish this goal”.

-John E. Fortunato, M.D.Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

“The party was FABULOUS!!”

“We were loaded with patients and families, and everyone had such a great time. I had numerous families with tears in their eyes, in sheer awe that they got those extremely generous gift cards. So, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!!! You truly know how to make a holiday special for hospitalized families.”

– Nicole N. Alkaraki, MA, LPC
Family Life Center Coordinator
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago