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Hannah Kothari (pictured, with mom Sandy), a seventh grader at River Oaks Baptist School, volunteers with kids at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Six years ago, my brother Harrison passed away after being in the hospital when he was 2 years old. Ever since then, my family and I have been delivering gifts to the children of various hospitals in the city through our family foundation, Harrison’s Heroes. Being in a hospital can disrupt a child’s life. When they play, it is a way to reconnect a child to his or her home life. The more a child plays, the happier they are. Happiness promotes recovery – which is the ultimate goal of each hospital.
Since last summer, I have decorated bags and filled them with toys and Pillow Pets. My mother, father and I visit Children’s Memorial Hermann quite often, and I get to visit with a few of the children. If I am lucky, and if we visit at a good time, I get the wonderful opportunity to hand deliver the bags to children in the hospital. It makes me feel amazing to see each child light up as I hand them their goodie bag. Their mothers and fathers are also overjoyed.
We recently hosted a party for the patients who can go out of their hospital room and interact with others. The kids got to create jewelry, decorate capes and decorate crowns. Maddie, a volunteer, and I ironed capes for the children. When each child saw the finished product, they were happy. At the end of the party, each child walked back to their room with capes on their backs, crowns on top of their heads and smiles on their faces.
Harrison’s Heroes is a family foundation that is in my brother’s name. Harrison loved to color and play with stuffed animals. It helped him cope with his pain, and keep him entertained. Whenever he would receive a gift while he was in the hospital, he would be so joyful. It made me so happy to see him that way. I love seeing other kids in the hospital just as joyful, because it reminds me of Harrison, and how happy he was in his last few months.
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