A Winter Wonderland of Fun That's All About Kids
Posted by Jennifer Fieten, Child Life Specialist
A little girl giggles with uncontrollable excitement at seeing Santa walk down the stairs...
A pre-teen boy anxiously awaits as the announcer calls the next Bingo card selection...
And, a toddler smiles as she clutches her newly acquired baby doll...
What do all of these things have in common? The annual JourneyCare All About Kids Program Holiday Party! With the theme of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” nearly 200 children and their families from our All About Kids palliative care and hospice program were recently treated to food, fun, presents, and a special visit from Santa at the Stonegate Banquet and Conference Centre in Hoffman Estates.
Instead of medications and treatments, kids were able to just be kids for an afternoon of celebration and fellowship with other families experiencing similar journeys. It was about creating memories that will last a lifetime, and making every moment count.
JourneyCare’s All About Kids Program strives to do just that by hosting multiple events throughout the year to give pediatric patients and their families opportunities to socialize and create these memories with one another and with members of their JourneyCare team.
This can be priceless for children diagnosed with a serious illness and undergoing medical treatments. As a child life specialist, I know firsthand that these children enjoy socializing, playing, and going out of the home with their families. This point can never get lost in all of the medical care being provided.
I once had a patient thank JourneyCare for seeing beyond physical appearances and acknowledging that he has a good life despite what others might think. Our special pediatric events create an environment where the children and families can feel accepted and understood; one where they can sit back and enjoy their families and meet other families with like experiences.
Members of the Barrington Noon Rotary contributed to the event for the fourth consecutive year and assisted JourneyCare team members and JourneyCare teen and adult volunteers with various activities, which included dessert and snow globe decorating and a special reading of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Each child was able to visit with Santa and have a family picture taken. For each family, Santa brought gifts of toys and games, courtesy of Toys for Tots. We thank everyone for their support.