The Toy Foundation (TTF), the charitable organization for the North American toy industry and Children’s Hospital Association, which represents over 200 children’s hospitals in the nation, announced the Children’s Hospital Play Grants program will fund more than $385,000 in play therapy projects and activities at 19 children’s hospitals in the United States. The projects selected are designed to improve pediatric care through the healing power of play at hospitals that serve communities of the greatest need. For the second year, The Toy Foundation is partnering with Children’s Hospital Association to carry out the program.
A hospital stay can be an unbearable time for a child and their family. The incorporation of play therapy into daily care can relieve stress, positively impact the child’s well-being, and measurably improve treatment outcomes. The inaugural program in 2021 impacted 175,000 children; in 2022/2023 TTF expects to support an additional 185,000 pediatric patients through play.
“The extraordinary physical, emotional and educational benefits of play are well documented,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We are delighted to help these amazing hospitals deliver the power of play to the children and families they serve every day.”
Play projects and activities are in-kind services a hospital provides for the benefit of the child and family. As pediatric emergency department visits continue to rise from the growing mental health crisis, as well as viral infections, chronic medical problems and injury, hospitals are more reliant than ever on grant funding to offer impactful programming, such as Children’s Hospital Play Grants.
“Congratulations to the children’s hospital recipients of this year’s TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of Children’s Hospital Association. “We are grateful and delighted the Toy Foundation recognizes the importance of play to children’s health—emotionally and physically. Play is necessary therapy for children and families as they navigate health challenges, and we are proud to partner to recognize children’s hospitals’ efforts in caring for the whole child.”
The play grants to 19 children’s hospitals will fulfill a variety of needs that may have otherwise not been met for a diverse pediatric patient population. Projects include VR technology to create customized and adaptive activities and experiences for patients at Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center in New York; inclusive dance play-therapy available for all patients at Norton Children’s Hospital in Kentucky; sensory safe spaces and toys for emergency department and inpatient children at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in California; and more.
Recipients of TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants 2022/2023 program include:
- Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago – Chicago, Ill.
- Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center – Temple, Texas
- Children’s Hospital at Montefiore – Bronx, N.Y.
- Children’s Specialized Hospital – Mountainside, N.J.
- Children’s Hospital of Orange County – Orange, Calif.
- El Paso Children’s Hospital – El Paso, Texas
- Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center – Yonkers, N.Y.
- Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital – Orlando, Fla.
- La Rabida Children’s Hospital – Chicago, Ill.
- Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital – Loma Linda, Calif.
- Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Network – Tacoma, Wash.
- MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital – Charleston, S.C.
- Norton Children’s Hospital – Louisville, Ky.
- Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital – Maryland Heights, Mo.
- Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital – Memphis, Tenn.
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital – St. Louis, Mo.
- The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis – Tulsa, Okla.
- University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital – Albuquerque, N.M.
- UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center – Worcester, Mass.
For more information about The Toy Foundation’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program, visit ToyFoundation.org.