Each year, the Help Hope Live team spreads hope in our own small way by packaging and delivering Bags of Hope to local patients.
In 2023, our team put together nearly 100 Bags of Hope and helped personally deliver them to individuals and families facing hospital stays during the holiday season.
Our Executive Director Kelly L Green’s Bags of Hope journey began long before our team came together.
In 2011, Kelly’s mother, Ileen, experienced a holiday season stuck in isolation. A care package surprised Ileen and brightened her holiday season—and Kelly was moved by the realization that such a small gesture could make a big impact during a patient’s hospital stay.
In 2012, after Ileen passed away, Kelly opted to pay it forward. She assembled her own care package in memory of her mom with hand-selected items to spread holiday cheer.
Kelly kicked off a tradition now in its eleventh year for her and her family – and its sixth year for our Help Hope Live team.
The impact of this year’s Bags of Hope initiative hit home as Kelly and our team witnessed smiles, surprise, and gratitude from 2023 recipients:
“This brings me so much comfort…I miss my mom so deeply, and this legacy makes a world of difference in my heart.”
Bags of Hope 2023
Our Bags of Hope process starts with our team and supporters donating items to lift patient spirits. This year, the Do Gooders organization of Philadelphia fulfilled a grant to help cover $1,000 in Bags of Hope costs. We are so grateful for their help!
Our local team members donate their time to assemble Bags of Hope at our offices. It’s a rare opportunity for our local staff to gather in-person to support a special annual cause.
Next, it’s time to get the pros involved: close connections with local organizations and industry professionals allow us to usher our Bags of Hope safely into the hands of local patients and families.
This year, we allied once again with Ron Siggs at Magee Rehabilitation and heart failure/transplant social worker Deb Gordon, MSW, LSCW, at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).
One cool inclusion in our Bags of Hope at Magee: The Smarter Hook, a product perfect for adding to the back of a wheelchair or walker to help keep items close at hand.
Deb gave us a great shout-out after our delivery day:
“Thanks to Help Hope Live for making this a special holiday season for those awaiting a transplant or post-transplant. This will be delivered to heart, liver, lung, and kidney transplant families.”
Our final stop was MossRehab, where Julie Hensler-Cullen (Director, Education and Quality) coordinated distribution across the largest physical medicine and rehabilitation community in Philadelphia.
Hope Catches On
“Help Hope Live does phenomenal work providing hope for all. We are so grateful to be a part of this new annual tradition of giving!”
Our friends at Prelude Solutions were inspired to not only participate in Bags of Hope but start their own team tradition.
The Prelude Team packed 50 Bags of Hope on a Zoom call in just 30 minutes—and they want to extend the tradition beyond the holiday season!
They felt the process of packing their own Bags of Hope was easy, with one hitch:
They collected so many items to stuff their Bags of Hope that they had to purchase bigger bags to hold them all.
Small Gesture – Big Impact
Our catastrophic illness client Kaija Hite is not local to our area, but a piece of her story still powerfully underlines the power of local gestures like Bags of Hope.
While Kajia is local to North Carolina, she’s been staying away from home in a Los Angeles hospital to help diagnose and treat her complicated FND, FMD, and CRPS diagnoses.
As Kaija’s mom observed in an Update on her Campaign Page, “Hospital stays during the holiday season can be quite depressing. Christmas cheer does not always reach the rooms of the patients: not all patients can enjoy the beauty of a decorated hospital lobby.”
However, small acts of hope can change everything. As mom shared:
“Acts of simple kindness help Christmas magic happen. One of the sweetest doctors on Kaija’s team brought decorations for her room this morning.”
The gesture impacted not just Kaija and her family but so many others:
“Let me tell you, a simple string of lights changes the whole atmosphere and lifts the spirit, not only for us but for everyone who enters the room.”
Kindness begets kindness. In Kaija’s case, her family was able to turn that holiday cheer into additional hope and festivity, sharing 30 holiday goodie bags of their own with nurses, doctors, and room cleaners.
These gestures truly make a difference, and we get the opportunity to gratefully participate in them together as we think globally and act locally.
Your support allows us to strengthen and expand our nonprofit mission—and its impact— year after year.
It’s a joy and privilege to be able to continue to do the work we do – whether we’re providing trusted medical fundraising on a national scale or gestures of hope right here in our backyard.
Thank you for fueling another year of hope and impact!Written by Emily Progin