Backyard BBQ Group Photo

Summer Days with Bags of Fun KC

Chuckles has had a very fun summer so far and is looking forward to more community events with our KC Bags of Fun community!

This summer we have already held a successful June Jam, bringing together our donors and recipient families for some good old fashioned carnival games, water play, barbeque, and live music!

Chuckles the Frog

Intellicents Stuffs and Delivers 10 Bags!

Did you know anyone can sponsor a bag of fun and be a part of the stuffing and delivering?
Intellicents did just that at their national meeting in Kansas City.

Intellicents sponsored 10 bags of fun! At their meeting everyone worked together and tested their packing skills. They made sure that each bag of fun was filled to the brim with unique items for each child based on their interests and developmental needs.

Come Out and Play

Looking back over all that we’ve been through this past year, we’ve had to make a lot of adjustments. We adjusted to some difficult things like social distancing, wearing masks, and all the harrowing work of our health care professionals. We also adjusted to unexpected things like zoom calls, unmuting and muting, and of course attending meetings in our pajamas pants.

One of the adjustments for Bags of Fun was having to cancel our in person events.

So we are overjoyed to say: we are back! We are back to getting together, playing together, and sharing together.

Whether you are looking for family fun or a luxurious evening out, there are many events going on in all three of the cities that Bags of Fun calls home.

The events themselves are packed with fun, food, and prizes, but what really has us running out the door is the fact that we are going to see our Bags of Fun Family. We have missed seeing your faces and hearing your stories.

After all we have had to adjust to this year, it is nothing compared to the adjustments children with long term illness make everyday. Our organization is distinctive in that it focuses on unique play as a means of recovery for kids in the fight of their lives. Because of that, all of our events focus on play…play for the family, play for kids that aren’t able to play, play for the adults.

Critical illness diagnoses, doctor’s appointments, and treatments did not stop during this pandemic and neither did our important work of delivering Bags of Fun to families in crisis. We hope that you’ll come out and play with us and help us provide joy, laughter, and relief to kids and families for many more years to come.

Hudson’s Story

Hudson has early onset kyphoscoliosis which has progressively worsened over his 2 1/2 years. Over the next 5 weeks, he’ll undergo HALO gravity traction & spinal surgery to correct the curves. HALO gravity traction requires as much time as he can tolerate to be spent in a wheelchair or bed where the pulley system connects to the HALO – which is a metal ring that is screwed into his skull and surrounds his head) , slowly straightening and lengthening his spine.

Hudson’s mom, Shaley, says, “It’s very difficult to keep a busy 2 year old in a wheelchair so all of the fun activities & toys from Bags of Fun KC are so helpful in keeping him entertained & keeping his mind off of his discomfort! The first thing he pulled out was the superhero cape! He ran around the halls showing it off to all the nurses. He also loves the poke a dot books, stuffed Buzz Lightyear, stickers, coloring books, paw patrol items, and toy & shape game! He really enjoys all of it and it will help us over the next few weeks when he is in and out of his chair! Thank you so much!”

We think we have never seen a cuter superhero and we are fighting right alongside you, Hudson!

Thank you to our Bags of Fun community for working with us to help children and families who are faced with difficult diagnoses during this time of uncertainty

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?

Double the Donation

Our 10 year letter

Ten years ago this week, Bags of Fun KC was born! During the first week of April in 2011 we began our journey “on a wing and a prayer” of bringing the healing power of play to children in the KC community faced with fighting a long term, life threatening condition. Since then, we have grown immensely from a one or two person operation to a solid non-profit foundation with regular volunteers, staff, a board of directors, and corporate partners. Since our “opening day” we have delivered almost 1500 bags of fun and hundreds of sibling bags to families from our community and families from elsewhere being treated in our community.

While COVID- 19 is on the top of everyone’s minds, we are dedicated to our mission and we will continue to fill bag requests as we get them from the hospitals. In the month of March we delivered 28 bags of fun as well as 19 sibling bags to children fighting cancer and other long term life threatening conditions. Due to changes at the hospitals, there is an increased need for specialty toys and items for children currently admitted. Children and families in the midst of their unique medical crises need to heal their health and hearts. In the last two weeks, we donated single use crafts and easy games (over 250 items) for patient use while in isolation as hospital playrooms have been shut down and patients are not allowed to leave rooms except for treatment, as well as having only one guardian with them at a time. We feel that by giving these items we are bringing these families distraction through the power of play while they are stuck in their rooms. We will continue to fill special requests from our hospitals on an ongoing basis.

And some GOOD NEWS: The $2 trillion stimulus bill which was signed into law over the last week expands the charitable deduction to all taxpayers for a year, and boosts tax incentives for corporate giving, according to analysts. The stimulus bill will allow a deduction up to $300 in cash giving for the 2020 tax year without itemization making it a “universal deduction”. The bill also lifts the cap on annual giving from 60 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent. For corporate charitable giving, the bill raises the annual limit from 10 percent to 25 percent of taxable income. At Bags of Fun KC we remain hopeful that donations this year will help offset the cancellation and postponement of many of our fundraising opportunities.

As always we remain grateful and humbled by our community of donors and supporters. THANK YOU for your continued support! Your generosity has given us purpose and meaning for the nine years, and brings us HOPE that we can continue to bring even more JOY, LAUGHTER, and RELIEF to children and their families for years to come!

Donations to Bags of Fun KC are tax deductible. Our tax identification number is 47-0946567. Donations can be made anytime clicking the ling below or by mailing a check.