Holiday Heroes

The mission of Holiday Heroes is to provide joy and improved quality of life to pediatric patients through a combination of in-person and virtual programs. Holiday Heroes uses its experience, creativity, resources, and passion to inspire long-lasting joy and happy memories for pediatric patients and their families, thereby making a positive impact in their recoveries and their lives. 
 
Below are the different programs we offer to our hospitals, clinics and local organizations. 
 
In-person programming: Hospital parties. We offer 4 parties a year to each of our in-person hospital partners. Every party includes.. 
  • Monthly themes (Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Superhero ect.)
  • Age-specific activity boxes with 3-5 arts and crafts activities to go along with the theme of the party 
  • Personal visits with a costumed character 
  • Catered meal 
  • Themed gifts or gift cards 
Virtual Programming: Hospital Parties. We offer 4 virtual parties a year to our virtual hospital partners. These parties include 
  • Monthly themes (Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Superhero ect.)
  • Age-specific activity boxes with 3-5 arts and crafts activities to go along with the theme of the party that get shipped right to their hospital
  • Personal virtual visits with a costumed character 
Hero Packs: Distributed to our Clinics and Outpatient facilities. 
  • Grab-and-go activity bags for patients to do while getting treatment or waiting on doctors/therapy appointments 

“This kind of interaction and multidisciplinary approach to patients actually improves outcomes”
-John E. Fortunato, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Lurie Children’s Hospital
 

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