Lights For Kids founder Olivia Messina of Solon hopes to make things a little better for children during a hospital stay.
Messina, a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati, says lights comforted her when she was undergoing a derotational osteotomy of the left tibia in 2016.
Her experience led her to create Lights For Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making hospital stays easier for children across the U.S. The nonprofit seeks to create a comfortable experience through donations such as string lights for kids to decorate their rooms or other joy-bringing items used by child life specialists, which help distract children from the pain of medical procedures.
Since their start in October 2017, Lights for Kids has reached 34 children’s hospitals in 25 U.S. states. So far, it has donated 4,277 sets of lights and 634 joy-bringing items with a goal in 2022 to donate an additional 1,500 lights and 500 joy-bringing items.
“The lights brought me comfort, joy, and cheer at a time when I was lacking in all three,” Messina said.
Visit lights4kids.org for more info.