KIDS CREW UPDATE 4/16/2016 -- The Kids Crew is now a national program at the Epilepsy Foundation. To find out more and to register your child, please visit epilepsy.com/kids-crew.
"The Kids Crew is a group of kids that do good things for children with medical needs and their families. They help places like childrens' hospitals, the Ronald McDonald House and more." -- by Hailey
Hailey says, “The goal of the Kids Crew is to educate the future leaders of our world.” Hailey and Livy have learned a great deal about giving back and they would like to share that with other kids who also want to help make a difference. The group meets once a month to listen to presentations from organizations or individuals in the community, discuss current and future projects, participate in fun team building activities and games and work on their current project. It is a wonderful way for kids to build relationships and to learn about making a difference.
At the Kids Crew, we reinforce the need for imagination and creative thinking. We guide children to use their talents to give back to others. We want them to take it upon themselves to come up with ideas that can impact their community based on what they have learned. Doing so allows for teamwork, teaches responsibility and instills confidence. Our belief is that if children are encouraged to do what they are interested in, they will be excited to learn and to reach their full potential.
Children are capable of tremendous kind and generous acts. We help them harness their abilities to do so and allow them to see how they can change lives. We provide a setting in which they feel respected, inspired and important. The Kids Crew stands up for one another and teaches to accept each person for who they are. We provide a setting where our children can grow as individuals and take lessons with them that will be a part of who they are for the rest of their lives.
Ronald McDonald House
In April, the crew supported the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay, Inc. They learned all about the houses and how they began from our visitor Lise Fields. The kids then made collection boxes to "Fill...The House That Love Built®". Durning the month of May, the Crew collected items from the community to bring to the local houses. Toward the end of the month, the kids brought all of the items to our house to be sorted. We filled box after box. They did an incredible job and when all was said and done, twenty boxes had been filled!
The following month, we transported the boxes to the Ronald McDonald House in St. Petersburg. A group of the Crew went to deliver all of the items. They got to take a tour of the house and see first hand how important the organization is to all the families who utilize their services.
High Risk Hope
In March, the Livy's Hope Kids Crew supported High Risk Hope, the winner of the WEDU Non-Profit of the Year in Tampa Bay! High Risk Hope provides support, encouragement, information, and resources to women and families who are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy resulting in hospital bed rest, potential premature birth, and neonatal intensive care after delivery. We had a fantastic group of kids including some new faces (which we love to see). One of their projects was to make "WELCOME" banners for the cribs of the babies in the local children's hospital NICU. Also, they will be collecting "sponsors" to help pay forHandprint/Footprint Keepsake Kits to give to the families of those babies.
Then in April, the Crew was out in front of Einstein Bagels in Clearwater, FL raising money to help pay for Handprint/Footprint Keepsake Kits to give to the families who have babies in the NICU. This group of kids does amazing things when they work as a team. We are no longer surprised when they get together to support an organization or a cause. They have what it takes to get things done. In total, the Crew raised over $600 which was enough to purchase 130 ornaments. We have one that we received while Livy was born and staying in the hospital. It is a clay imprint of her footprint and we hang it on our tree every Christmas. It is a reminder of how far Livy has come and is one of our most treasured items. We look forward to donating the ornaments so that the families have a gift that will last forever.
Suncoast Hospice Pediatrics
In January, the Kids Crew got together to learn about the Suncoast Hospice Pediatric Program. Our presenters were Sara, a pediatric nurse, and their social worker Ryann. They did a wonderful job explaining to the kids and parents what the program is and who it serves. Their teams and volunteers provide care to children of all ages, from infants to young adults, helping young children and teenagers understand their illnesses and treating their physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. The kids then assembled Valentine's Day candles that they sold to help raise funds to donate to Suncoast. Together, the crew raised over $700! We also talked about ways the kids can use their talents to help support the Kids Crew. They came up with some great ideas including,a talent show, a soccer charity/clinic, an art show/auction, a concert, a bake sale, writing and designing a book about the Kids Crew and then publishing it, creating an animal walk and holding a lemonade stand at a sporting event. We ended with some fun team Valentine's Day themed games!
Blankets for Pediatric Health Choice
The kids took some time to give back during the holiday season. We are so proud of the Crew and our families and friends for making these warm and wonderful fleece blankets for the patients of Pediatric Health Choice! Together we provided nurse Jann 27 blankets to be given as Christmas gifts. Our crew can do some amazing things when they work together. The kids are getting ready for another year of giving back and helping the community. Great things to come in 2015!
Chemotherapy Care Kits for All Children's Hospital
In November of 2014, The Kids Crew assembled 50 Care Kits for children receiving chemotherapy treatment. During the meeting, the kids learned about cancer and what occurs during treatment including the side effects of chemotherapy. Every kit contained toys, comfy socks, games and more. Also, a personal, inspiring note from a Crew member was included in each one. In December, the Crew delivered the kits to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. The Child Life Department was so thankful and proud of the work the Crew did. We are so proud of the kids!
Care Note Books
During the month of August, The Kids Crew put together 50 customized Care Notebooks that were mailed to families of children with special medical needs. The Crew learned about how much information accumulates for these kids including doctor's appointments, therapies, medications, equipment and more and the notebooks will help to organize all of the paperwork. The Crew also made special cards to go in each notebook. Another successful meeting with some fun team building games!
Lemonade for Livy
In July, the Kids Crew supported Lemonade for Livy. Lemonade for Livy is an initiative by Livy's Hope to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation to fund research for a cure. The crew held lemonade stands in the Tampa Bay area the weekend of July 25 - 27 and they turned Tampa Bay purple in support of epilepsy awareness. During the meeting in June, they learned all about epilepsy, what to do if they see someone having a seizure and how a social campaign can create change. Then they planned for their stands.
Wheelchairs 4 Kids
The Kids Crew now has 50 members! What an amazing achievement. The kids are all dedicated to making a difference and is shows each time they get together. On May 31, 2014, the crew got together to assemble their Father's Day fundraising gifts to support Wheelchairs 4 Kids. This amazing organization provides wheelchairs, home and vehicle modifications as well as other assistive and therapeutic devices for children that have limited mobility due to illness, accident or abuse. The Kids Crew sponsored an adorable six year old named Lillian. Click here to read about her. Lillian has cerebral palsy and was in need of an adaptive tricycle. The Kids Crew did an amazing job and raised the entire $1,300 needed for her trike!! We are so grateful for everyone that contributed to this project.
Ronald McDonald House Mother's Day Gifts
The second meeting of the Kids Crew took place on 4/26/2014. The group doubled to 20 kids! During the meeting, the kids learned about the Ronald McDonald Houses of Tampa Bay and how important they are to families. For those of you who don't know the purpose of the Houses, they exist to provide a home-away-from-home for families of pediatric patients in area hospitals. We have spent time at the house in Gainesville, FL on various occassions when Livy was in the hospital and we can honestly say that it was such a relief to have a place outside of the hospital to get some rest and collect our thoughts. During the meeting, the kids packed 80 gift bags to be given to mothers staying at our local Ronald McDonald Houses on Mother's Day. The Kids Crew raised $1,000 to fund the gifts for the bags! They did a great job working together and had a lot of fun. Some representatives from The Crew then had the opportunity to visit the Ronald McDonald House to deliver the gift bags.
Get Well Cards
The first meeting of the Kids Crew took place on 3/15/2014. The kids made cards to be delivered to children staying at our local children's hospital.