Daily Management Review

Project Sunshine brings a ray of hope for those afflicted with deadly health problems


Project Sunshine brings a warm smile to the children and their families, who have not had the best of health, and opportunities. It radiates this sense of happiness for more than 100000 children and their families in various parts of the world.

As a kickstarter for project Sunshine, Marcus Smart from Boston Celtics along with Optum executives visited patients at the Boston Children’s Hospital and hand delivered creative art and craft kids. As you will recall, Boston Children’s Hospital was created in 1869 with a bed capacity for 20 patients. From its humble beginnings it has since bloomed as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospital, as per US News & World Report. It has maintained this prime reputation for the last 21 years, which is certainly no easy task. Furthermore, Harvard Medical School uses it as its primary platform for teachings pediatrics. Yet another feather in its cap is the fact that Boston Children’s Hospital is the largest provider of healthcare for children in the Massachusetts. “Having fun is an important part of being a kid – and really important for kids who are facing health challenges. I am happy to be able to meet these special kids and bring smiles to their faces – and then leave a little something fun to work on later,” said Mr. Smart. This distribution of arts and craft kids, this “Sending Sunshine” event, is just one of several event that Project Sunshine has developed to help children remain children while they are being medically treated. The kit contains educational and entertainment crafts designed to enhance a child’s fun factor when he/she is facing significant medical challenges. Lenny Driscoll, Optum’s Executive Client manager echoed the same view: “Project Sunshine shares a commitment to building healthy communities and provides a great opportunity to engage our employee volunteers. …We are happy to collaborate with the Celtics and [we are happy] to bring smiles to children who are experiencing health challenges. Project Sunshine shares a commitment to building healthy communities and provides a great opportunity to engage our employee volunteers.” Project Sunshine, a NPO, has in fact been created for this very purpose: for providing free education, setting up social and recreational programs for children who face medical challenges. These benefits are also provided for the families of the children as well. In order to fulfil its stated obligations, Project Sunshine, hires, trains and puts in place a system which has a corps of dedicated and dynamic volunteers totaling to more than 15000. These volunteers selfless donate their time to create program materials for a variety of purposes, including artful recreational, tutoring and mentoring students for educational purposes as well as providing nutritional counselling to HIV infected children and their families. These volunteers have injected a ray of sunshine into the lives of children and their families, which total to more than 100000 in number, in 175 cities in the States, in 4 countries – Kenya, China, Israel and Canada. This corps of volunteers ensure that these young human beings whose lives have just begin, but who have been afflicted by deadly diseases, have a reason to smile. They engage them in play, and provide them with courage and skill sets with which these young men and women can face a better tomorrow. In 2010, Optum began this collaboration with project Sunshine. More than 13200 volunteers from the Unitedhealth Group have joined hands with volunteers from Optum, and together they have created 63000 “Creative Arts and Crafts Kits” as well as 18,300 “Sunny Grams”. All of these have been generously distributed to pediatric patients in the entire country. Through this effort, the Boston Celtics and the Unitedhealth Group, have supported more than 23000 children along with their families. This collaboration between the two, have brought about a betterment for the greater Boston community not only for children in the hospital but for those in schools and playgrounds as well. References: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150324006810/en

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