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What is A Moment of Magic Foundation?
A Moment of Magic Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that allows college students to volunteer as different characters at pediatric hospitals and social service institutions. We operate on the mission of restoring the magic of believing at a time when a child needs to ‘just be a kid’ and reminding them to be brave, strong, and fearless.
What made you want to start the Foundation?
Myself and my co-founder and best friend, Maggie McAndrew founded the organization in 2014 as just a fun way to give back to our community. We never realized the impact we could have or how much we would fall in love with it, but it has completely taken over our lives in the best way possible. Meeting so many incredible kids and families with such life-changing stories really made us want to do more, so in March 2016 we decided to become a nonprofit organization.
What kinds of services do you provide?
We really cater the the organization, hospital, or family we are working with. We’ve done bedside visits, playroom visits, classroom visits, large event appearances, sing-a-longs, arts and crafts, individual visits, and facetime visits.
You take special care with training your volunteers. Can you tell us more about that?
Absolutely. What we do is so important and particular, our volunteers attend a 1.5 hour training once a week. We cover everything from talking, walking, and posing like a princess to HIPPA laws, to working with kids that are terminal, to even teaching specific phrases in Spanish and Sign language. What we do is so sensitive and we work with a community of children that deserve to have these dreams come true, but live in a reality where they may never be fulfilled. We need to be the same quality that they would receive if they were completely healthy and had all the resources to visit a theme park.
What’s been your favorite event/service?
I love all of the amazing things I get to do on a daily basis. But one of my favorite aspects have been visiting children with cancer individually, whether it be their birthday, or their last day of chemo, or before they go into hospice care. Getting to visit children in such a personal way on such a special day and being welcomed into their hospital rooms or homes is such a gift that I will always treasure.
The 250 Challenge that raised money for pediatric cancer just concluded. What’s the next challenge you’ll have?
The next challenge that we have is called Avery’s Challenge
. Avery didn’t always have the ability to cheer with her cheerleading team because she was battling an even bigger opponent: neuroblastoma. Unlike other kids her age, Avery didn’t get to spend her time practicing flips and cheers, but instead was fighting for her life. Every day, seven children lose their ability to play sports, dance in a recital, score their first touchdown, or learn their first cheer due to pediatric cancer. And every day 250 children are diagnosed with pediatric cancer. If you want to play for them, YOU CAN. By wearing our colors, our logo, doing a cheer to honor a child we met, or play a game in honor of a fighter, you can give your game purpose and raise awareness for one of the most underfunded and underrepresented diseases in the world. We are challenging sports teams to wear gold and purple and raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.
If some wants to get involved, how do they go about that?