Supporting the new landscape of pediatric healthcare
Being hospitalized as a child is hard; being hospitalized as a child right now is devastating.
Children who are hospitalized and battling chronic and life-threatening illnesses are facing more isolation and emotional distress than ever before. They can’t have visitors other than one consistent caregiver, and interaction with other patients and hospital staff in the unit is nonexistent. With the threat of overburdened, understaffed, and under-equipped hospitals devoting their limited resources to the COVID-19 response, children grappling with illnesses are in very real danger of receiving reduced attention and decreased opportunities for stress-reducing play and activities.
PRIORITY: 200,000 ACTIVITY KITS
Project Sunshine Activity Kits are an individualized packet of materials to inspire play and engagement. The materials spark joy and provide therapeutic value to the physical and emotional healing process. In the pre-COVID era, when a hospitalized child was experiencing long periods of downtime in their hospital room or needed an engaging distraction from a stressful treatment, the materials provided a safe play-based tool for creativity and mental stimulation.
Since early March, Project Sunshine has experienced a 1,000% surge in demand for our Activity Kits from 400 hospital partners across the country. Because the kits are a safe, single-use activity, hospital partners have increased distribution to patients to meet their developmental needs while interaction with staff and family is dramatically reduced. Project Sunshine volunteers assembled and distributed over 100,000 Activity Kits in 2019. This year, we are seeking to provide 200,000 Activity Kits to hospitalized children
Trained volunteers who deliver Project Sunshine’s research-based programming can create better health outcomes for pediatric patients; but due to COVID-19, our volunteer corps may be grounded from in-hospital work through 2021. To mirror the in-hospital play experience that Project Sunshine has been providing for 20 years, we are facilitating small groups of patients and trained Project Sunshine volunteers meeting by video conference to engage in play and activities. These connections and programs reduce stress, increase joy, and help support the developmental, social and emotional needs of children facing medical challenges.
Healing Power of Play Campaign
The following organizations and individuals have made a gift in response to our call to action to fund 200,000 Activity Kits and TelePlay Initiative since the launch of the Healing Power of Play Campaign on June 1, 2020.
Bank Leumi and Shawn McGowen
Mark Pedretti and ReedSmith LLP
Howard and Tova Weiser
We are deeply grateful to the following organizations and individuals who answered our early call for urgent support from January 1 - May 31 so we could continue to deliver our programs to children facing medical challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resonance Foundation for Children's Health
The MOCA Foundation
Sy Syms Foundation
Robin Wilpon Wachtler, as Director of the Judy and Fred Wilpon Family Foundation
The Briger Family
Ross and Jennings Cameron
Kathryn and Alan C. Greenberg
Landstone Capital Group
New York Yankees Foundation
Ryan and Emilia Serhant