Lives were brightened through LEGO on Tuesday, July 26th.
Volunteers from Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks and I LUG NY members Bill Murphy and Brian Wygand were honorary Fairy Bricks fairies for the day. We all helped young patients and their siblings build LEGO sets that were donated to the Department of Pediatrics at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mt. Sinai in Manhattan.
Our day at Kravis began by meeting with hospital staff (thank you for such a great day Diane, Cheryl and Carla!) and a debrief about what our day would look like. After that we visited two waiting rooms in order to meet with young builders and assist however we could (open boxes and parts bags, turn instruction pages or assist with building the sets the recipients chose from our stock of donated LEGO from Fairy Bricks). More importantly, we were able to interact with these young builders and put smiles on their faces (and ours).
Afterwards we were treated to a New York City lunch of salad and pizza and then set out to complete the afternoon portion of our visit. Our team of nine was split in two, one group visited patients in their hospital rooms while the other group participated in a taping of a live TV show that aired throughout the hospital.
Bill and I were members of the TV contingent joining Annie and Anthony from Goldman Sachs and a pair of young builders. We were welcomed on set by Laura, the host of KidZone. Kravis has its own on site TV production studio that records and replays segments taped there daily. It was really quite impressive, complete with a green screen! Bill and I were asked questions about Fairy Bricks, our connection with LEGO and asked to free build. KidZone is recorded daily and aired throughout every room in the hospital. Patients are invited to call the studio and one patient called not once, but twice!
Andrea, Team Leader for the Sachs team recalled this moment in an email to Kevin from Fairy Bricks-
“Brian definitely made one special needs patient’s year with giving him his LEGO Mets tie. During the live show, the boy called in not once but twice to ask a question and expressed his interest in Bri’s tie. Brian made it a point after the airing of the show to head up and offer him his special tie.”
Visiting this patient was the highlight of the day for me as it put a smile on my face and made me laugh several times. This patient (patient confidentiality-I remember and will never forget him or his name) brightened my day with his positive outlook, candor and humor as he had his visitors and healthcare professionals laughing throughout the visit. Thank you for calling in!
Throughout the day, Kevin and I exchanged emails as I wanted to not only update him on our day but wanted him to feel connected to the event that he organized from overseas. I can’t say enough about the fact that Kevin and his fellow Chief Fairies at Fairy Bricks not only set a goal to brighten the lives of sick children through LEGO but that they meet this goal. Each and every child that we met had a moment during their day at a hospital where they were happily engaged in building a LEGO set, talking about LEGO and taking their minds off of their health issues.
Kevin reached out to me via email back in February to gauge my interest in assisting with this event. We have never met but I LUG NY helped him with a hospital donation a few years ago (perhaps before the name Fairy Bricks came to be) and he knew that he had someone in New York that could be counted on to assist with this last endeavor. The time it must have taken to have the conversations between Kevin, Goldman Sachs and the hospital representatives must have been very considerable. Besides that, Kevin also shopped for LEGO on Amazon, called me to share updates and also had follow up conversations with all parties via email. Kevin-you not only helped brighten the lives of the children you did the same for us volunteers. Thank you!
Feedback from the staff at Kravis was overwhelmingly positive and appreciative, making reference to the “positive responses on the faces of all the children and adolescents involved.” Another staff member shared “You made so many patients smile and we appreciate it so much. We had so much fun and learned a great deal about the art of building LEGO toys. A big thank you to the master builders as well, they were really great and shared so many interesting tidbits and facts.”
If this event takes place again next year, Bill and I would love to be a part of it!
Want to learn more about Fairy Bricks?
Please visit http://fairybricks.org/about-fairy-bricks/