Would your family like to bring a snowman drawing to life to brighten the day of a patient at Children's Hospital Colorado?
Generation Wild, a movement from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) that seeks to reconnect kids with nature, has launched its “Say Hi with a Snowman” initiative, in partnership with Children's Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado), for the fourth year in a row.
“We are thrilled to bring back ‘Say Hi with a Snowman’ because of its large success in generating positivity within the Generation Wild community, and in getting families and groups across Colorado playing in the outdoors,” said GOCO Executive Director Jackie Miller. “With requests already coming in from new and previous volunteers eager to make snowmen, we hope that this will be our biggest year yet!”
Due to an overwhelming response from community volunteers in 2023, the campaign will begin earlier this year and run through February 14, with the possibility of continuing beyond this date depending on weather and interest. The project pairs patients with volunteers in the community to bring snowman drawings to life.
Families can follow the fun through social media, using the hashtag #SayHiWithASnowman.
The initiative launched in 2021 with a request for volunteers to build snowmen for patients in the hospital who were unable to get outside and play in the snow. Since then, a total of 421 groups of volunteers have created 235 real-life snowmen for 85 patients in the hospital. Each child received images of real-life snowmen based on a drawing of their perfect snowman, along with anecdotes and letters of encouragement from the volunteers.
The 2024 campaign opens on January 10 for families and groups who want to volunteer to build a snowman.
“Say Hi with a Snowman’ allows kids in the hospital a chance to engage in creative play and just be a kid during times that can be tough for them and their families,” said Carla Barrentine, director of Integrative and Creative Care at Children’s Colorado. “We are so excited this campaign is returning for another year of fun partnering with Generation Wild to help bring joy and connection from outside the hospital.”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
- The Children’s Colorado team of Child Life Specialists will present kids with the opportunity to draw their “dream snowmen” alongside their favorite colors and outdoor snow activities.
- Volunteers across the state are then asked to bring these patients’ creations to life.
- Families interested in building snowmen can sign up and will be paired with a patient and their snowman.
- As the snowmen are built, the Children’s Colorado team shares pictures and videos received directly with the patients.
- Families can also follow the fun through social media, using the hashtag #SayHiWithaSnowman.
“Our goal at Generation Wild is to get Colorado kids and families outside more often,” said GOCO Executive Director Jackie Miller. “This fun campaign not only encourages outdoor play for the whole family but sets the example that an act of kindness can go a long way.”
ABOUT GENERATION WILD
Generation Wild was created by GOCO to reconnect kids with nature by increasing the amount of time they spend outside in unstructured play – the kind of play that used to be way more common. The program is an integrated, statewide effort supported by a statewide network of non-profit, public and private partner organizations. In 12 Colorado communities, diverse, locally based Generation Wild coalitions are creating equitable access to the outdoors with new places to play, outdoor programs, and pathways to leadership opportunities and jobs in the outdoors.
The “Say Hi with a Snowman” program is one more way Generation Wild connects children and families with nature and enables them to experience the proven physical, mental and emotional health benefits that come from spending time outside. It’s also a positivity boost for hospital staff.
ABOUT GREAT OUTDOORS COLORADO
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,600 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.
ABOUT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COLORADO
Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of the nation’s leading and most expansive nonprofit pediatric healthcare systems with a mission to improve the health of children through patient care, education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1908 and recognized as a top 10 children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Colorado has established itself as a pioneer in the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking treatments that are shaping the future of pediatric healthcare worldwide. Children’s Colorado offers a full spectrum of family-centered care at its urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Colorado, including an academic medical center on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, hospitals in Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch and Broomfield, and outreach clinics across the region.
FIND US ON SOCIAL!
@GenerationWild (Facebook + Instagram)
#SayHiWithASnowman + #SHWAS