'Cheer them on:' Group spreads joy for hospitalized kids

Changes to hospital visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic prevents children battling illness from receiving support from loved ones.

During times of sickness, a "Moment of Magic" can bring joy during their journey to recovery. One group of college students is reaching out to those young patients, hoping to provide just that.

"It's cool to see how they light up and they forget about everything going on around that at that time," said Andi Krawczyk.

Krawczyk and Paige Bruggink are part of the national organization A Moment of Magic, which provides creative programming for kids with medical vulnerabilities.
 

Volunteers and children take part in an event with A Moment of Magic

"College volunteers dress up as favorite princesses, superheroes and other characters and remind them to be brave, strong and fearless during these challenging times," Bruggink said.

As COVID-19 adds another layer of stresses and restrictions for families, the group continues to reach out -- offering virtual hotline calls and much more.

Volunteers and children take part in an event with A Moment of Magic

"We also do wonder wheels visits where we do a driveby visit, wave at kids cheer them on, drive by the hospitals and wave at them, things like that," said Bruggink. "We are also doing events like hospital live streams where we partner with hospitals and wish kids well during these hard times."

To make it all happen, this year the team is having a virtual fundraiser called Hope for the Holidays

Volunteers and children take part in an event with A Moment of Magic

"We know everyone is taking a hit in 2020 with the pandemic, but the nonprofit sector really definitely took a big hit, too," said Bruggink. "However, we believe that just because life kind of took a pause doesn’t mean the magic stops."

Funds will go toward their efforts to provide for families during the holidays and beyond.
 
"We want to be able to reach different communities," said Bruggink.

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The fundraising goal is $5,000.

People looking to donate, volunteer or request a "Moment of Magic" for a child can find more information at amomentofmagic.org/university-of-wisconsin and amomentofmagic.org/hope-for-the-holidays.

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