Hospital Prom brings Joy to Pediatric Patients

Child life specialists celebrate milestones and bring a sense of normalcy to hospitalized children. Birthdays, holidays and special events are all recognized, so children and teens can feel that simple joy of being in the moment. Funding can be a challenge though.

I’m excited to share that the Joy in Childhood Foundation is offering a teen prom grant for hospitals, the deadline is August 31, 2019.

The Joy in Childhood Foundation provides the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness – and believes all teens nationwide should experience the joy of prom.

After a successful first 2019 teen prom for Boston Children’s Hospital at Fenway Park, the Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation powered by Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, is expanding the Teen Prom program to bring joy nationwide to general hospital and pediatric hospital teen patients, focusing on bringing joy to teens who might not able to attend their own prom and enjoy this life milestone.

The new Teen Prom program invites hospitals to apply for a grant to fund their own teen prom experience for pediatric patients ages 13-19. Grants are intended to fund the full prom experience – from venue to décor, signage, food and beverage and more. To be eligible, applicants must be a children’s hospital or general hospital with a dedicated pediatric department within geographic proximity to a Dunkin’ or Baskin-Robbins location.

This past March, the Joy in Childhood Foundation got the party started by hosting “Prom at the Park” for teen patients of Boston Children’s Hospital at Fenway Park, providing nearly 100 teens and their guests with an unforgettable evening of dancing, games, and celebrity appearances. Before the prom, teens were invited to “prompose” to their dates and prepare for prom with guidance from the child life specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital, who understand the impact and positive effects this event will have long after the prom is over.

According to Beth Donegan, Director, Child Life Services, Boston Children’s Hospital, “For a small moment in time, this event is beyond joyful, allowing teen patients the opportunity to be with their friends, surrounded by those who truly understand. They were able to get dressed up, dance, play some games, connect with friends and create a memory that will last a lifetime.”

Cooper, the Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Chief Joy Officer and ambassador for the Dogs for Joy program, was a celebrity guest at the event and walked the red carpet to raise awareness for in-residence service dogs everywhere. “The mission of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is to bring joy to kids battling illness. We are thrilled we could help bring a milestone moment like prom to teen patients at Boston Children’s Hospital,” said Kari McHugh, Executive Director of the Joy in Childhood Foundation.

To apply or to learn more about the Joy in Childhood Foundation and its impact in communities across the country, visit http://www.bringjoy.org.

About the Joy in Childhood Foundation

The Joy in Childhood Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, powered by Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins. The Foundation’s goal is to provide the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness. The Foundation brings together a wide range of stakeholders — including franchisees, crew members, employees, partners and guests — and partners with food banks, children’s hospitals, and nonprofit organizations directly committed to serving kids when they need it most. In 2019 the Joy in Childhood Foundation will grant more than $5 million and has granted over $20 million since its inception. For more information and to learn about our Dogs for Joy program, please visit www.bringjoy.org.

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