Silverline has worked with Project Sunshine for several years, giving back to pediatric patients across the country by creating Project Sunshine activity kits.
Project Sunshine Activity Kits are an individualized packet of materials to inspire play and engagement. The materials spark joy and provide therapeutic value to the physical and emotional healing process. In the pre-COVID era, when a hospitalized child was experiencing long periods of downtime in their hospital room or needed an engaging distraction from a stressful treatment, the materials provided a safe play-based tool for creativity and mental stimulation.
Now children who are hospitalized face more isolation and emotional distress than ever before. They can’t have visitors other than one consistent caregiver, and interaction with other patients and hospital staff in the unit is nonexistent.
Why now, more than ever
Since early March, Project Sunshine has experienced a 1,000% surge in demand for Activity Kits from 400 hospital partners across the country. At Silverline, we had a group of employees sign up to package and create these kits remotely for our summer Silverline Cares activity.
Through Silverline Cares, we use our time, talent, and resources to give back to our communities near and far in partnership with Pledge 1%. Pledge 1% is a movement of corporate philanthropy where organizations commit to donating 1% of profits, 1% of product, and 1% of their time. Through this initiative, we are able to make a lasting impact on our local communities and nonprofits which is why we built the Silverline Cares program.
A family affair
This activity was one of the most rewarding I’ve volunteered with during my six years at Silverline because I was able to involve my family. Typically, we work together as a team with our co-workers in the office or at one of our quarterly in person meetings. But this time, the box of materials were shipped out to Silverliner’s homes to work on remotely.
It was wonderful to open the box and work on assembling the activity kits with my children. We talked about each item and they agreed this kit would be a lot of fun to work on. We created Mandala kits, and they thought the velvet and gold foil were “so cool.” They took pride in packaging up each item, checking each bag carefully to make sure it was ready for each child who would receive it.
From left to right: Summer – 7, my husband Glenn, background Rae who didn’t participate because she’s 1, and Vivienne – 5.
While we assembled the bags we talked about why children might be in the hospital, how we were lucky to have our health, and how else we could help both in the current COVID era and in the future. It took just a few hours, but during that time we had a sense of purpose, mission, and accomplishment they were missing recently by not having that in person community at school. I hope the children who receive these kits get as much joy from them as my children did putting them together.
During this round, we had a group of 20 Silverliners (and their families!) participate, which created over 2,000 kits. Here’s what a few of the participants had to say:
Andy Mack, Manager at Silverline
“The experience of assembling the bags was fun and caused our oldest son to ask why the parents of the sick children were giving them fun things to do. It started a nice discussion where my wife explained that as a parent it’s overwhelming when your child is in the hospital and you are worried, working and wondering what will be next. She let him know we are helping the children and their parents with our work and the children who receive it have fun with the package and the parents experience the “gift” of other people providing something for their child who is in the hospital.”
The Mack family building out their kits
Angie Lingk, SVP, Revenue Operations
“Project Sunshine’s home based activity is such a powerful family event that we did over a few hours last weekend. We watched the suggested YouTube video with our kids before the project and had active conversation about how the recipients would react to receiving the kits. We also listened to the Spotify playlist created for the activity, which was full of fun throwback music for our 15-,18-, and 20-year-olds. It was really well organized and something we want to make part of our family tradition.”
The Lingks spending quality kit time together