On May 7th, we were beyond blessed as an organization to receive such wonderful support from the Omaha community, while celebrating some Kentucky institutions; the Derby and Bourbon!
We put on our finest hats and gathered for an evening of amazing local cuisine, bourbon and barrel wine tastings, live music, and FUN!
Wine 121 hosted the evening, and sponsored a commemorative bottle of Kentucky Woodford Reserve Bourbon for raffle. Because of their incredible hospitality, we were able to sample bourbons from all over the country and bid on many high end bourbons and wines.
Besides tasting the bourbon, we enjoyed a delicious bourbon inspired menu from Chef Around the Block and KirbKakes Bakery & Pastry.
Everything was delicious, but the chicken and waffle cone with mashed potatoes and bourbon maple syrup was an absolute hit! We finished the menu with something sweet, enjoying mint julep mini cupcakes and amazing bourbon cream-filled macarons. Yum!
We watched the derby and voted for Best Fascinator/Hat. It was won by our friend and supporter, Tiffany Ewasiuk!
This event gave us the ability to provide Bags of Fun to 7 Omaha kids! We are grateful to the Omaha community for all their help raising money for children battling life threatening illnesses. We are nothing without their support!
“My first reaction was disbelief and emotional because of the generosity. Jaxen absolutely loved his bag. We took it with us to every chemo session and I felt more prepared having different options to help us get through the hard sessions. The tablet was an absolute game changer for us with accessing his port. It made it so much less traumatic for him! The bag absolutely helped him through his journey and we were so incredibly grateful for it.”
– Jamie, Jaxen’s mom
“Nora’s first reaction to her Bags of Fun was “Is that all for me?” She was full of smiles and happiness! Nora has been on treatment for what feels like forever. Organizations such as Bags of Fun that lift up kids spirits and bring joy help to get through the tough times are so amazing. As a parent you start to feel drug down sometimes when you have a child with a chronic illness or battle pediatric cancer. When you are blessed with such an amazing gift such as Bags of Fun it brings the child SO much joy, which in turn brings the family joy. Seeing your child happy is really all we want in life. The backpack that we received from Bags of Fun is our dedicated treatment bag. It comes with us to the hospital for every treatment. Nora loves to pack her bag the night before with things that she wants to bring to infusion with her that month. All of the items that come within the backpack help to bring countless hours of fun and to pass the time at infusion as well. We could not be more thankful for Bags of Fun for bringing so much joy and happiness to Nora.”
– Amber, Nora’s mom
In early March, hospitals closed playrooms for children and families inpatient. Bags of Fun’s mission to bring joy, laughter and relief to every child fighting a life-threatening disease or condition suddenly became more necessary than ever before. The following has been our response to provide rehabilitative play to children and families when their hearts and minds need it most.
- Over 675 new toys provided to hospitals in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
- Over 230 Bags of Fun delivered to children newly diagnosed with life-threatening, life-limiting conditions.
- Over 15 Sibling Bags delivered to help keep the entire family distracted.
- Deliveries transitioned from face to face hospital deliveries to specialized drop zones at each hospital.
- COVID-19 compliant home deliveries now available for homebound patients.
- Responding to Bag requests from hospitals on a daily basis, compared to weekly basis prior to COVID-19.
- Bags of Fun Kansas City delivers lunch to Child Life Specialists.
- Bags of Fun Colorado supports local elementary school with food boxes.
“The COVID-19 crisis is causing immense fear and anxiety particularly for hospitalized children and their families. The provision of age appropriate arts, crafts, toys and therapeutic play materials allows children to still use play and express themselves and work through some of the psychological impact that they are experiencing.” Erika, Denver Health
How can you stay involved during covid-19?
- Please be sure to check out what is happening with bags of fun in colorado, kansas, missouri and nebraska.
- Stay connected with local hospitals that continue to diagnose and treat children and families faced with challenging diseases and conditions.
- Continue to support bags of fun financially. Donate here
- Does your company match donations? Check on the link below!
During these uncertain times, we want to reach out to all of our amazing supporters and let you know that Bags of Fun is committed to fulfilling our mission of delivering joy, laughter and relief to children facing life threatening and long-term illnesses. While COVID- 19 is on the top of everyone’s minds, we want you, our loyal supporters, to know that we are dedicated to our mission and we will continue to fill Bag requests that we get from the hospitals.
Due to changes at the hospitals, there is an increased need for specialty toys and items for children currently admitted. We will also be fulfilling special request from the Child Life Specialists relating directly to the crisis. Children and families in the midst of their unique medical crises need to heal their health and hearts.
We are committed to maintaining a full staff and operating Bags of Fun within the limitations set by the CDC. We are working closely with the hospitals, other nonprofits and our medical advisors to ensure we are providing effective, appropriate help where needed.
Thank you all so much for your amazing 15 years of support. Because of you, we are able to respond to the crisis with the same spirit we have had for the past 15 years. A spirit of caring, joy, laughter and the amazing power that PLAY can bring even in the most challenging of times.
Tammy and the Bags of Fun Team
Bags of Fun Colorado, Bags of Fun Kansas City and Bags of Fun Omaha
Gabby was a fun-loving 6-year-old who lost her battle to brain cancer in September 2004. Her mother Tammy created the nonprofit Bags for Fun in her memory.
Bags of Fun partnered with Hope Kids to get some of their clients Bags to help get them and their families through their treatments this Holiday season.
Each bag was designed with the family in mind. With the help of Razzle Toys. we included items for siblings as well as fun interactive game and activities for the entire family.
We hosted the event “ Comfort and Joy “at Alpine Bank in the DTC , at which time 7 children and their family received a Bag of Fun put together specifically by incredible volunteers and supporters. Dancers from Dance Kaleidoscope helped with entertainment, sharing their love of dance and music. There were crafts and a Hot chocolate bar provided in part by Starbucks.
What an incredible way to experience the Holiday Season.