Bags of Fun Delivers Backpacks of Toys to Nebraska Medicine, Ronald McDonald House
In response to many inpatient hospital playrooms being forced to close and social interaction decreasing because of the virus, Bags of Fun (bagsoffun.org) took toys and window markers to Nebraska Medicine for the patients to have for their individual rooms. They also took backpacks full of toys and games to the Ronald McDonald House in Omaha for each family isolated there. Families are usually from out of town but need to stay close to medical attention during their child’s treatments, and are therefore unable to return home where they might feel the most comfortable. The backpacks delivered by Bags of Fun are meant to bring joy and normalcy into the situation, reinforcing that the patients are children first. After receiving a bag, the majority of parents felt less isolated because someone else was thinking of their child.
Every bag is individually crafted for each patient. Bags of Fun takes each child’s likes, favorites, age, and diagnosis into consideration when customizing each bag. Sometimes, the child will ask for slippers and a nightlight; sometimes they ask for Olaf from Frozen. Bags of Fun recently got a little boy new sandals because he didn’t have any. Though all different, each bag contains fun and laughter!
Bags of Fun is independent of the hospitals and each Bag of Fun is funded by the Gabby Krause Foundation. The bags are an essential tool that brings the power of play into the hospitals. For the child, it brings instant excitement and a distraction from their pain, illness, and anxiety. Since the inception of the program in 2004, Bags of Fun has fulfilled every request from the participating hospitals. To learn more, visit bagsoffun.org.