February 8, 2023
All Children's Hospital's 2-day event helps boost morale of patients during the holidays

Photo: Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Parents can pick from hundreds of donated gifts available for hospitalized children and their siblings.

Economic Backbone: Hospitals

All Children's Hospital's 2-day event helps boost morale of patients during the holidays

All Kids' Wonderland adds a glimmer of joy for hospitalized children and their families.

Art Levy | 12/21/2022

For the past 10 years, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg has staged All Kids' Wonderland, a two-day December event intended to brighten the holiday season for hospitalized children and their families.

The premise is that families with a sick child are probably not going to have the focus or energy to spend much time shopping for holiday gifts, so All Kids' Wonderland does it for them. Parents and guardians visit the wonderland — basically a decorated conference room — and are met with tables covered with hundreds of donated gifts that they can choose for free and later give to their children, including their siblings who are not sick.

“We try to create a positive feeling and help families get the resources they need to celebrate whatever winter holiday they celebrate,” says Heather Bailey, the hospital’s child life program manager.

Bailey’s department, which is tasked with boosting the morale of patients and families every day, stages many holiday activities, from Halloween parties to Fourth of July picnics, but the December event is the hospital’s largest, with a typical budget of more than $40,000 and the involvement of numerous sponsors and businesses — and help from 200 volunteers. Most years, the event benefits about 225 families.

“We have families that become very emotional, and usually we have five to six families that become beyond emotional,” Bailey says. “It can be overwhelming, not just seeing the resources, the decorations, not just seeing the toys, but seeing the event itself. It’s about the compassion that’s shown through this event.”

Even hospital staffers who deal with emotional situations as part of their job can get overwhelmed.

“Every year, I look back, and it's a ton of work,” Bailey says. “We are exhausted when we come to the end of this, but we’re floating on happiness and pride, and we have an overwhelming feeling that we’ve pulled off another event that has impacted so many people.”

Tags: Southwest, Healthcare, Feature

Florida Business News

Florida News Releases

Florida Trend Video Pick

Big John, world’s largest triceratops, finds home at Glazer Children’s Museum
Big John, world’s largest triceratops, finds home at Glazer Children’s Museum

The 26-foot-long dinosaur made history when it was first discovered in South Dakota in 2014. And it made history again in 2021 when it fetched a record $7.7 million at an auction in Paris, the most ever paid for ancient bones that weren’t a T. rex. The winning bid came from Tampa entrepreneur Sidd Pagidipati, chairperson of Ayon Capitol and Better Health Group. He is lending Big John to the museum for the next three years.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Should Floridians selling real estate tell buyers if the property has been damaged from flooding?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Other (Please share your comments in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701
727.821.5800

© Copyright 2023 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.