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Why would anyone leave the house with wild and outrageous hair? To raise money to purchase items for children with cancer, such as a video game cart, of course!
Eight years ago, when a little girl named Meghan was three-years-old, she was diagnosed with a rare cancer that affects the kidneys, called Wilms’ tumor. To support Meghan, her uncle, Joe Bartell of Boston, MA, decided to organize an event to raise awareness for Wilms’ tumor. Since beating the cancer six years ago and still cancer free Meghan is doing well and just recently finished her first season playing softball with her team.
The Wiggos 4 Kiddos team was formed six years ago after Meghan was declared cancer free, to continue the fundraising efforts to raise awareness and money for other children fighting cancer. The team is comprised Bob Varnum, Jack McCarthy, Heather Croke, Joe Bartell and Grant LeSueur all who volunteer their time, energy and resources.
While their cause is serious, their fundraising efforts are humorous and entertaining, and you’re sure to have a great time at their events.
Especially because you’ll encounter hundreds of kids and adults donning colorful and fun wigs, dressing in colorful Mexican attire and sombreros and dancing to mariachi bands!
Their biggest event, Wigo de Mayo (think Cinco de Mayo celebration), has enabled them to raise thousands for the benefit of children and for Boston Children’s Hospital. Last year, their efforts collected $7,300, a portion of which was used for a Kidzpace Xbox 360 game system on a bedside mobile cart that they graciously donated to Boston Children’s Hospital.
The game has been such a hit; Wiggos 4 Kiddos planned the 6th Annual Wigo de Mayo Fiesta Fundraiser event this past May to raise money for another! Their efforts and hard work enable patients and their families to take a little time to relax and have some fun while in the hospital.
This year, they also started Duckos 4 Kiddos, a program that allows people to sponsor and purchase a stuffed plush Chemo Duck for a “Kiddo.” As they grow, Wiggos 4 Kiddos plans to expand their efforts by organizing more events around the country, including New York and Portland, Oregon.
Stories like Meghan’s and the Wiggos 4 Kiddos Team warm our hearts. We want to thank them for all their hard work.
If you’re interested in donating or learning more about Wiggos, please write to:
“Wiggos 4 Kiddos”
73 Ratchford Street
Quincy, MA 02169
Check them out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Wiggos4Kiddos.
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In the coming new world of healthcare delivery, economics and politics are grabbing most of the headlines. However, hospitals and clinics still must focus on a couple of other important bottom lines, medical outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Regardless of how much money is spent, or where it comes from, the patient experience should always be a matter of interest and concern to healthcare providers. Every facility, large or small, public or private, must create a positive, overall image to its patients and their families.
With all the changes underway, there is an increased potential for disconnect between a healthcare facility and its patients, and also between a healthcare facility and the community in which it resides.
Questions to ask: How welcoming is the facility? How well are the needs of visitors being met? How does a facility fit into the fabric of its community?
What this means for you:
Healthcare foundations, along with development professionals, often play a key role to ensure that healthcare facilities maintain and strengthen that important connection between providers and their patients. While the foundations often implement large, capital campaigns for brick and mortar expansions, there is concern with how the final product is actually delivered to and used by the healthcare consumer.
What are we doing to help you:
The products and services delivered by DMA4Families are important finishing touches that make a very real difference for patients and families. I work diligently with foundations and development workers to help ensure there is funding available to provide the visible and tangible differences that patients and families notice and appreciate.
For many years, DMA4Families have been a part of the philanthropy community. We keep the communications lines wide open so that everyone is familiar with myself and DMA4Families, and understands how we can assist them in their fundraising efforts. We works hard to advertise and market, and for almost 20 years, we have attended conferences and conventions to meet with as many people as possible. The relationships created and personal interaction is a key element in creating opportunities, and our expertise is a valuable tool in planning for the purchase and use of our products.
We are happy to provide any of the following:
Download our fundraising ideas document here.
Being a patient in the hospital can be a difficult experience and for a child or teenager, it can be even more distressing. It is an out-of-the-ordinary situation and everything the child knows as “normal” is placed on hold. This can lead to apprehension, fear, anxiety and stress, especially for children who are visiting a healthcare facility for the very first time. As many in the healthcare field are aware, remaining positive, upbeat and happy can aide tremendously in the healing process. A useful tool to help increase these emotions is play.
According to Karen Muller, Child Life Director at Children’s Medical Center in Dayton, OH, coping skills may vary from child to child so it helps a great deal to try and “normalize the hospital environment” by providing kids with activities they are accustomed to doing. Ms. Muller states, “Today’s kids are very familiar with computer and video games; it is just like TV was thirty years ago.”
During an average day for a child or teen, computers and video games are used regularly, whether it is for school work or for fun and recreation either by themselves, with friends or family members. Whenever possible, children in healthcare facilities should be given an opportunity to enjoy similar facets of their regular daily lives, such as electronic game play, to help encourage happiness and positivity, and to decrease their stress. It is important to replace fear with fun.
When six year old Killian Carpenter of Franklin, NC was admitted to the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill for abdominal surgery, he knew things were “not normal.” Killian’s father, Darrin, could tell that he was worried about what was going to happen to him and saw that Killian was intimidated by all the new, unwanted attention. Darrin recalls his son commenting on the large number of “very serious grown-ups wearing green shirts or blue shirts…they were everywhere!” It was definitely a frightening experience.
However, when Killian began his post surgery recovery, he discovered a way to cope with his situation through the help of Kidzpace Interactive and DMA4Families. The hospital’s playroom housed a Kidzpace Carousel game systems that features multiple electronic game stations which Killian was able to enjoy. Darrin, stated he could immediately see that playing the games was a effective and fun distraction that eased Killian’s worry and he focused less on his pain. Darrin said, “Playing the games gave Killian a little bit of home.” This is a true benefit of play.