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Children's Mercy Birthday Party program allows kids and families to give back in a fun way

Sporting Kansas City's Dom Dwyer and Mix 93's Jenny Matthews hosting birthdays

Birthday Party Program

In recent years, children have asked their friends and family to bring toys and stuffed animals to their birthday party to give to the patients at Children’s Mercy in lieu of traditional presents. Children’s Mercy is now making it easier than ever to make a big difference in a way that allows families to come together to learn about the importance of giving back and support the hospital as part of its Small Change – Big Difference campaign.

The newly launched Birthday Party program provides a similar experience, but online. Hosting a birthday party is simple – together with their parents, kids can visit the online Birthday Party Hub, where they can create their party, invite friends and create a wish list from the Gift Gallery where party guests can virtually purchase the pre-selected gifts. All of the “gifts” benefit the Child Life Department, whose purpose is to ensure the hospital experience is as easy and comfortable as possible for patients and their families. There are nearly 50 items that start at just $10. Gifts range from baby dolls and card games for patient playrooms to instruments used in music therapy, as well as staffing teachers so children with extended hospital stays don’t fall behind in school.

“We have a world-class Child Life Department at Children’s Mercy because our donors care about making the hospital experience easier and more comfortable for kids and families,” said Jenea Oliver, PhD, Vice President of Philanthropy. “Child Life is all about offering the most compassionate care. The smiles on our patient’s faces let us know these efforts are making a real difference. A visit from a therapy dog brings entertainment and joy, and it also brings stress and pain relief. The program is entirely funded by philanthropy, and we are so very grateful for our donors. You are making a big difference in so many lives, every single day.”

Families who set up a birthday party will receive a birthday kit, including a ceramic piggy bank and paint pen for birthday guests to sign. Children’s Mercy will be recognizing birthday party photos that are shared through Facebook and Twitter. Kansas City celebrities like Sporting Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer and radio personality Jenny Matthews from Mix 93.3 have launched their own birthday parties to kick off the program and inspire families around the metro to give back.

Learn more about Small Change – Big Difference and get tips to help families teach children the power of giving back at www.childrensmercy.org/smallchange.