Open Heart Magic
To use the therapeutic power of magic and laughter to strengthen seriously ill kids in hospitals.
Open Heart Magic brings Bedside Magic to children hospitalized at 15 Hospital Partners throughout our three states. These children, who may be hospitalized for a week, a month, or longer are often scared, lonely, and confused about the medical situation they are facing. Bedside Magic provides them a one-on-one, personalized interaction for each patient that inspires joy, smiles, and strength. Volunteer Hospital Magicians are trained to adapt empowering magic tricks to any situation, physical ability level, or developmental ability. Magic happens in the child’s hands – not the magician – and each interaction ends with the child learning a magic trick of their own. Hospitals are facing unprecedented budget cuts with staff furloughs and layoffs, program cuts to ancillary services, and visitor restrictions - kids need magic now more than ever.
Bedside Magic is now beginning to come back to hospitals after being paused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With each of our diverse revenue streams affected by cancellations and quarantine orders, our budget has been devastated for purchasing supplies, updating training to new protocols, and more that is required to bring the magic back to sick kids. A State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant would help us to close some of that gap, and could impact thousands of sick kids who need Bedside Magic more now than ever. Bedside Magic gives children something to focus on other than being sick, and involves their families and other visitors as well. Parents often tell us that Bedside Magic was the first thing that brought a smile to their child’s face since they’ve been in the hospital. As we finalize updated protocols put in place by our Hospital Partners to handle COVID-19, we anticipate increased expenses in magic supplies, protective equipment, and increased training of volunteers.
A State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant has the potential to have a lasting impact on both the lives of the kids we see in the coming months, and on the future of Open Heart Magic overall. In 2019, volunteer Hospital Magicians saw 12,054 sick kids. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything about OHM – except that kids are still scared and lonely in the hospital. Our Bedside Magic program is hospital-based, and hospitals have been forever changed by this environment thus requiring our program to change as well. We’re committed to transforming as many sick kids as we can in 2020 through Bedside Magic – but also to make the changes required to keep bringing magic to kids long after this pandemic. For 15 years, OHM has grown exponentially year after year but for now, our focus is solely on our #1 priority – to keep kids safe. That means new supplies, new training, and new protocol that will be developed now and moving forward so we can keep seeing thousands of kids each year.