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To date, we have hosted parties for more than 6,800 children.
Young patients undergoing chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants have weakened immune systems which disallow them from being around other kids. As a result, they miss out on enriching childhood experiences like going to the movies, amusement parks, birthday parties, and trick-or-treating.
Throughout the year, Hope for Henry hosts events like superhero celebrations, birthday parties, book parties, summer carnivals, and Halloween parties to ensure that these kids get to experience the joys of childhood, even while in the hospital.
Here’s how we bring smiles and laughter, hope and magic, into the lives of children at hospitals in Washington, DC and around the country:
Hope for Henry Reads
Hope for Henry’s first-ever hospital party took place in July 2005, with Hope for Henry "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" parties at hospitals from Washington, DC to Hackensack and Minneapolis on the day the book was released to the public. Featuring fresh-off-the-presses copies of the new books for each kid, trivia contests, chocolate covered frogs and Bertie Botts jelly beans, these parties were covered nationally by CNN, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal as well as on local television news and in local newspapers. In July 2007, when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final book in the Harry Potter series was published, we were back at the hospitals celebrating its arrival by hosting another series of fabulous parties.
Now we’ve made this program a part of what we do throughout the year. Through Hope for Henry Reads, we deliver, and continue to replenish year-round, a large selection of brand-new books for children of all ages who are in the hospital fighting cancer and other serious illnesses. In addition, we host in-hospital readings and book signings by well-known children’s authors. On April 6, 2011, at Georgetown Hospital’s Lombardi Cancer Center we hosted our first author, Katy Kelly, the acclaimed writer of the “Melonhead” and “Lucy Rose” book series. Hope for Henry gave each child copies of Katy’s books which she signed after reading excerpts from her hilarious books. We continue to host parties featuring the best children's authors year-round.
If you want to join Hope for Henry in bringing the pleasure of a great book to a child in the hospital, you can:
- Collect and donate brand-new books for children of all ages.
- Introduce us to authors you know who might be interested in sharing their books with kids in the hospital.
- Sponsor a Hope for Henry Reads Book Party for $1000 or make a donation of any size to help us purchase books for kids.
Hope for Henry Superhero Celebrations
Kids love superheroes. Mythic figures like Superman and Batman represent unimaginable power and the promise that good will win out over evil. For kids with life-threatening illnesses these are particularly potent ideas. For them, superheroes represent the prospect of a world away from their hospital rooms — a world where they can win the battle over their illnesses, and create a life that better fits their dreams.
Each year Hope for Henry hosts Superhero Celebrations at our partner hospitals. These events feature everything superhero, including: Visits from live superheroes like Batman, Wonder Woman and Spiderman; Onsite photo booths so kids can take pictures with their favorite superheroes or villains; Caricaturists who draw pictures of the kids as superheroes; Superhero costumes, masks, capes and related accessories; Superhero action figures and play sets; Superhero t-shirts, comic books, stickers, temporary tattoos and other fun gifts.
There are so many ways – big and small, all equally significant - that you can help bring the magic of superheroes to sick children. You can:
- Collect and donate brand new superhero action figures, costumes, or comic books.
- Sponsor a superhero party for $5,000 or make a donation of any size to help support this super fun event. (link to donate here)
Hope for Henry Summer Carnivals
Summertime is a special time for children. With the school year behind them, children look forward to several fun-filled months of summer camp, family vacations, and downtime with friends. Because their immune systems are weak, children undergoing chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants are unable to go to camp or the beach because there are too many people and the risk of getting sick is too high. Also, they need to remain in or near the hospital to seek treatment.
To ensure that these children and their families do not miss out on the wonders of summer, Hope for Henry treats patients and their families to salt water taffy, candy buttons, popcorn and ice cream while they play summer carnival games including Bowler Roller, Tip the Cat and Milk Bottles. Smiles abound as the children win prizes and make beautiful sand art and spin art creations while watching jugglers, stilt walkers and other performers. Children leave with pails filled with sunglasses, bubbles, beach balls, glow sticks, and candy to ensure that the fun continues.
Hope for Henry Halloween Parties
The opportunity to dress up and to get as much free candy as you can carry makes Halloween one of the best days of the year. Hope for Henry Halloween Parties give hospitalized kids a chance to celebrate one of their favorite holidays by giving them brand new costumes so they can trick or treat and participate in parades throughout the hospitals. From the hematology/oncology clinics to radiology and surgical waiting rooms, hundreds of princesses, witches and superheroes fill hospital corridors with cheer while collecting candy and toys. For those too ill to leave their hospital rooms, Hope for Henry delivers gift bags and Halloween cheer.
To bring Halloween cheer to hospitalized kids, you can:
- Donate bags of individually wrapped candy to Hope for Henry to share at in-hospital Halloween celebrations.
- Donate brand-new, popular Halloween costumes and accessories for kids of all ages.
- Donate new festive decorations for hospital clinics and patient rooms.
- Sponsor a Hope for Henry Halloween Party for $5,000 or make a contribution of any size to help defray the cost of this scary fun event.