Susan Dempsey is the project coordinator for The Giggle Box Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping sick kids feel better through the use of laughter and lots of love. Their goal is to provide a “Giggle Box” to every hospitalized child in Missouri and eventually across America, and thus making them and their caregivers participants in their healing process, not just victims to their illness.
The beginning focus of the Project is to help children ages 4-11 who are patients in Missouri hospitals. The Project staff work closely with hosptial staff, pediatric personnel, and child-life specialists to make sure each child receives the perfect Giggle Box to meet his or her needs. The Project wants to initially create and distribute 20,000 Giggle Boxes filled with books, games, videos, and toys, to children to encourage their healing. This is an ambitious yet modest goal, since there are over 40,000 children admitted every year to Missouri hospitals.
Once funds are secured and supplies are obtained, how will the Giggle Boxes be assembled? The Giggle Box Project has made arrangements for a sheltered workshop to assemble the Giggle Boxes, which also supports employment opportunities for handicapped individuals to be part of the process.
In order to do all of this, The Giggle Box Project needs to obtain funds to buy the supplies and support distribution to the children in hospitals. One funding opportunity is a grant from Pepsi. Supporters of the Project can go to Pepsi’s website and vote for The Giggle Box Project; votes can also be given on Facebook (from your Facebook account, search Pepsi Refresh Voting App, then “Go to application,” “Allow,” “Like,” “Go to application” again, search for Giggle Box, and vote). The third way to vote is via text message sent to “73774” (or PEPSI), with the message that says, “104853.”
Each voting method can be done every day in December, 2010. The two non-profit organizations with the most votes at the end of the month will win the grants. The Pepsi website provides ranking information so viewers can see the progress of their charity. The Giggle Box Project was ranked #249 as of December 2. They are in good position to achieve the grant but voters must act everyday to ensure their success.
Once obtained, the grant funds will be used to pay for 20,000 printed Giggle Boxes, contents, assembly, and distribution of the Boxes, office supplies, printed materials, and additional fundraising efforts, with a small amount going towards salaries for the mostly volunteer staff. The funds will not be used for administrative overhead or qualified legal, medical, accounting, etc., expertise, which is being donated.
There is a saying that, “Laughter is the Best Medicine!” The Giggle Box Project is proving this in its efforts to promote emotional and physical healing of children by bringing them a positive outlook through love and laughter. It has been known for a long time that laughter promotes well-being; people who laugh a lot are healthier and happier in general than those who don’t laugh. Changing perspective towards illness and healing can make a significant improvement towards the healing and quality of life of a child and their family.
You can help by voting for The Giggle Box Project every day during December, 2010, using one or all three voting methods:
1. Vote online at www.refresheverything.com/thegiggleboxproject.
2. Facebook ((from your Facebook account, search Pepsi Refresh Voting App, then “Go to application,” “Allow,” “Like,” “Go to application” again, search for Giggle Box, and vote).
3. Text message “104853” to “73774” (PEPSI).
Help children experience happier, healthier lives by sharing love, joy, and laughter with The Giggle Box Project.