The Joshua Kahan Fund "Smiles" program is designed to help children cancer patients and their families by briefly taking their minds off of what they are actually going through. Our partnership with Sesame Place has enabled us to take Sesame Street characters into the oncology wing at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Every month, we provide our own form of "Smiles" medicine. Each child receives a visit from the characters along with a personalized picture and a toy to remember their "Smile" that day. The "Smiles" that we have been able to put on the faces of these children are priceless.
In addition to our monthly visits, the Joshua Kahan Fund has also been able to put "Smiles" on the faces of children who may feel too old for Sesame Street. Through the generosity and understanding of the Philadelphia Eagles, we have taken children who can leave the hospital to practices. The kids received a close up look at some of their sports heroes and the players have gone out of their way to make the kids feel special.
During the month of July, we host the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia annual ice cream party. As a kick-off for our highly successful 3-day all-you-can-eat ice cream event at Penn's Landing, what better place to start putting smiles on kids faces than at CHOP. In December, we hold the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia annual holiday party. The Sesame Street characters put on a show in the main lobby and every child in the hospital receives a visit and a surprise from the characters.
Over the years we have expanded our smiles program to include the Chop Prom. This event has been called, “one of the greatest events ever to be brought to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.” All children are invited regardless of age. Dresses and suits are given out and hair salons are set up throughout the hospital. While the kids are readying themselves for the evening the cafeteria is transformed into a ballroom. Walls are covered with magnificent fabric, tables are set and waiters in tuxedos serve punch in sparkling glasses. One by one each child comes down from their rooms all dressed up. They walk down a long red carpet under a balloon archway… stop… “Smile” and have their picture taken. Whether on crutches, in wheelchairs or with their oncology pole at that moment they all had one thing in common… no one was sick.
Making children smile is one of the ways that the Joshua Kahan Fund fulfills our mission. Our "Smiles" program is well received by the children, by the parents, and by the hospital. As we move forward, we will add other initiatives to make the time that these kids spend in the hospital easier. To find out ways that you can help us in our goal of bringing "smiles", feel free to contact us.