Holiday Heroes to bring needed joy to hospitalized children on National Superhero Day
On Sunday, April 28 -- National Superhero Day -- hundreds of hospitalized children across Chicagoland will have a reason to smile, when they attend parties and receive visits and gifts from some of their favorite costumed characters and superheroes. The parties are being planned by Holiday Heroes, a Chicago nonprofit that works to make kids' hospital stays a little less stressful, scary and lonely.
Holiday Heroes, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, plans hospital celebrations throughout the year, to enable young patients, their families and caregivers to forget about illness and medical procedures for a while and simply focus on having fun. The National Superhero Day parties target several area hospitals and hundreds of children and their families -- all at the same time.
This year's superhero parties will feature superhero visits, music, a catered meal, a gift and the Holiday Heroes signature craft crate, which will enable the children to decorate their own capes and masks and become superheroes themselves. The parties will be held at Holiday Heroes' partner hospitals and children's care centers in the city and suburbs, including Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Comer Children's Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Evanston Hospital, Almost Home Kids, Maryville Children's Healthcare Center and AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates. In addition, superhero parties will take place at several area hospitals on Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30.
"Our goal is to transport these kids to a more hopeful place by taking some of the anxiety out of their hospital stay and making things a little less overwhelming for everyone," says Bridgette Ferraro, executive director of Holiday Heroes. "This has so many social emotional benefits, including encouraging healthy social development and better recovery.
"These parties bring much-needed joy and happy memories, and we've seen time and again what a difference that can make for a child going through a challenging time, as well as for his or her loved ones."
In addition to the National Superhero Day events, Holiday Heroes provides parties, character visits, meals, craft crates and gifts for hospitalized children all year, thanks to generous corporate and hospital partnerships, individual donors and a team of hero volunteers. The organization is currently planning its annual Gala, Heroes of the Night, which will be held June 13 at Theater on the Lake. To learn more about the Gala, the work of Holiday Heroes and opportunities to invest and get involved, visit www.holidayheroes.org.