HOLIDAY, Fla. – Tampa-based children’s charity Kids Wish Network has brought the promise of a better future to patients at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida with a donation from toy company Aeromax. “My First Career Gear” costumes, which include police officers, magicians, chefs and construction workers, give children facing scary and often life-threatening situations the opportunity to see a promising tomorrow. Kids Wish Network is an international charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.
“Mark Levine and his company, Aeromax, have been extremely generous to the children we serve,” said Anna Lanzatella, Executive Director of the Kids Wish Network. “Their wonderful new ‘My First Career Gear’ costumes have been a great hit with children facing difficult circumstances. With these costumes, the kids are bringing their dreams to life through the power of imagination and, at the same time, are getting some much-needed relief from the stresses of their situations.”
Although known for its wish granting for children facing life-altering issues, Kids Wish Network also works with more than 180 hospitals and care facilities throughout the United States and Canada to distribute approximately $2 million in gifts and necessities each year. Kids Wish Network provides toys and necessities to hospitals, advocacy centers, shelters and other facilities for distribution to the children in their care. The organization has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of toys and necessities to hospitals in Southwest Florida, including The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in Ft. Myers, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood.
Aeromax’s President Mark Levine began making groundbreaking toys 15 years ago in Illinois. Since their humble beginning, Aeromax has soared to the top of the toy industry heights and their innovative products have won a number of the industry’s highest awards. In addition to their dedication to creating products that not only entertain, but also engage a child’s imaginations, Aeromax is also dedicated to charitable giving and has donated thousands of their delightful products to Kids Wish Network over a number of years.
Kids Wish Network unveiled the “My First Career Gear” costumes this week for children in residence at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Inpatient children were invited down to the activity center full of paper, markers, crayons and other art supplies to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up. The kids’ eyes lit up as they were surprised with the “My First Career Gear” costumes and allowed to choose one to wear and keep. When the costumes were distributed, the police officer delighted in giving “tickets” to the nursing staff, while the chef shyly asserted that she would make better food than what she ate at the hospital.
“The children loved it,” said Julie Avirett, Music Therapist and Internship Supervisor at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, who coordinated the event. “When the nurses saw the costumes, they were equally excited because they knew the impact the outfits would make. These ‘My First Career Gear’ costumes are perfect for these children because with the situations that many of them are in – with long term treatments and therapies – it can sometimes be hard for them to think of the future. These great costumes make it a lot easier and fun to think about it.”
For more information on Aeromax, visit www.aeromaxtoys.org.
For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.