CHICAGO – April 1, 2015 – The Holiday Heroes Foundation is proud to announce that in the month of March we hosted not one…not two…but three Holiday Heroes Hospital Parties throughout the Chicagoland area! During our parties, we gifted 85 children and their families $100 Target gift cards to help brighten their stay. Our ability to touch the lives of this many pediatric patients in long-term and critical care over such a short timespan was made possible by our compassionate donors and enthusiastic volunteers. Their dedication to the mission truly is the driving force behind-the-scenes of our organization.
Our first hospital party took place on March 12th at Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital in downtown Chicago. Just off the lake front, high above the hustle and bustle of the city, sits the Children’s Playroom where we held our gathering. The warm sunlight filled the space as we decorated the walls with holiday banners, dressed the tables in green with shamrock center pieces and adorned the Holiday Heroes team with St.Patty’s gear!
As the children and loved ones entered the room, the craft-favorite became overwhelmingly apparent – Hat Decorating! This was not just an activity for the kids; the adults were equally excited to create a fashionable accessory for themselves! With every seat at the table accounted for, every jar of paint spread out and every sticker, pipe cleaner and ribbon used, we were rest-assured our guests enjoyed the afternoon together!
Our next venture took us to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois on March 16th. We were honored to be asked to celebrate with the pediatric patients as this was our first time partnering with the staff. We could feel the excitement as soon as we entered the building!
Cookie decorating was the main event for children 4 years old to young adults up to 22 years old! Shamrock shaped treats were served with colored frosting and festive sprinkles. The ability to turn a basic cookie into a work of art was an apparent talent each child displayed!
As we exchanged stories about ourselves, sharing in laughter and similarities with one another, the playroom soon became a game room! Bingo and Memory were spread across the tables while new families stopped in to find out why they were hearing such joyful cheers throughout the halls. Our day was certainly celebratory with our new group of friends!
The last Holiday Heroes Hospital Party to cap off St.Patrick’s Day was on the holiday itself, March 17th, at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge. Whether you’re in the halls, elevators or family lounge area during our visits, you’re sure to see a Holiday Heroes team member delivering lunch, craft-kits or gift cards! This is because the opportunity to work with Advocate allows us to reach over sixty pediatric patients and families in five separate children’s unit. We always look forward to the impact we are able to make there!
Our most memorable take-away from this particular holiday party was the appreciation for the catered meal we provided. For two hours, we delivered carts of prepared plates to over a hundred patients and loved ones. The delicious barbecue chicken, warm french bread and sweet apple pie brought smiles and unity to the individual hospital rooms and family lounge. By the end of the day, our craft tables had been converted into dinner tables. Families gathered together while sharing in love and support with others who were walking in similar shoes.
One of the best ways to end a party is by seeing everyone who has been brought together because of it.
Thank you to the Child Life Coordinators who help make our visits possible, the volunteers who pull it all together and the supportive network of generous donors who continue to move us forward.