What we do is important!
If you’ve been in a hospital or care facility, you may have experienced how time can drag on while waiting for tests and procedures. Stuck in a room, not knowing what’s next, getting poked and prodded. It’s scary and you feel alone. The entire experience can be very intimidating – no matter how old you are.
For pediatric patients in long-term care, hospitals are the place where the hard work of treating illnesses or injuries intersects with the hope for a healthier future, and if possible, a speedy recovery.
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.
These young people find ways to sum up incredible strength and courage while facing unimaginable challenges, just like heroes do.
At Holiday Heroes, we recognize these incredible acts of bravery and support those young heroes by bringing moments of joy and normalcy to pediatric patients, their families, and caretakers. We do so through a combination of in-person and virtual programs that connect directly with kids in order to inspire long-lasting joy and happy memories for them and their families.
In the last year we:
- Grew our partnerships to over 24 hospitals, clinics and local organizations
- Made 74 deliveries of activity boxes to our Hospital Partners
- Distributed 2,593 activity boxes
- Threw 14 in-person parties with a costumed character
- Performed 30 virtual visits with a costumed character
- Delivered 2,735 Hero Packs to our Outpatient Clinic Partners
- Launched our first interactive gaming party
With your help, we can do more.
Check out what Holiday Heroes is all about.
More than 10 years ago, sisters Heather and Haley began meeting many children with serious illnesses that required long-term or frequent hospitalizations. While getting to know these new friends, they began noticing that many of these children would spend their birthdays and holidays in hospital beds with no gifts, no celebrations and little to smile about.
Heather and Haley became inspired to make an impact on these kids’ lives and get them smiling again. With the help of family and the hospital, they began hosting holiday parties for these children in critical and long-term care, transforming the pediatric unit into a fun, positive and hopeful environment. They delivered decorations, upbeat music, games, prizes, storytelling and other entertainment directly to the kids who needed just this kind of joy in their lives. Little did they know these experiences would create long-lasting joy and happy memories for the children, their families, and their caregivers.
Over time, their good works caught the attention and support of the hospital, several sports celebrities and others interested in making an immediate and long-term social impact in the lives of hospitalized children. They formed a board of directors and incorporated into the Holiday Heroes Foundation non-profit organization in January 2009.
“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