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Say ‘Hi’ to Patients at Children’s Hospital by Building a Snowman

As part of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) — Generation Wild, a research-led and multi-year campaign that reconnects children to nature and the health of the outdoors — has reconnected with the teams at Children’s Hospital Colorado for the return of “Say Hi with a Snowman Campaign.”

“Say Hi with a Snowman” is an annual campaign that connects community volunteers in Colorado to make a snowman for children who are patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

This heartwarming, snowy Colorado event sets out as a movement in asking for volunteers to make a snowman for children who are patients in the hospital, as such, who cannot currently play outside in the snow and outdoors.

Young patients at Children’s Hospital of Colorado (“Children’s Colorado”) have been sketching their dreamiest ideas of snowmen — which come to life when the images are sent to volunteers, who then stack up their best snowmen outside — and give back to the children through sent images, videos, and letters.

GOCO and its partners are driven to remind of the health benefits of nature and nurturing the well-being of our young ones. And, having the opportunity to brighten the spirit of children within the hospital can make all the difference.

“The ‘Say Hi with a Snowman’ campaign is a fun way for kids to use their imagination and creative play when they spend time at Children’s Colorado.”
-Carla Barrentine, Director of Child Life at Children’s Colorado.

Up to a dozen Children’s Hospital patients have submitted their visions, with more than 50 families so far participating in signing up to build snowmen.

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“It’s hard for kids to be in the hospital, especially when they’re missing out on the normal child activities, like playing in the snow or spending time with friends,” said Carla Barrentine, director of Child Life at Children’s Colorado.

“The ‘Say Hi with a Snowman’ campaign is a fun way for kids to use their imagination and creative play when they spend time at Children’s Colorado. It’s also a unique and fun way to instill joy and make our patients smile and feel connected to support systems outside the hospital.”

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Some recent notes sent by participating families to children patients, include:

“We had lots of fun building your snowman today after school. We hope you enjoy her uniqueness.”

“Thank you so much for the opportunity that this gave my daughter. She had a great time and felt honored to be able to make this snowman for her 2 year-old little friend.”

“We are thinking of you! Keep smiling – this snowman is sending a big hug!”

“We loved your awesome drawing and hope you like the snowman we built for you! Good luck in all you do and stay strong! We’re rooting for you!”

The initiative launched last year with a request for volunteers to build snowmen for patients in the hospital who were unable to get outside and play in the snow. A total of 125 families created real-life snowmen for 19 patients in the hospital.

“Last year proved that the simple act of getting creative in the outdoors can go a long way toward brightening a patient’s day and reducing the stress that children in the hospital experience.”
-Jackie Miller, GOCO Executive Director

Miller continued, “The goal for this year’s campaign is to get kids and families outside when it may be challenging to do so, and to generate goodwill and positivity within the Generation Wild community.”

Say “Hi” with a Snowman, by signing up here, at the: Volunteer Form.

The 2022 campaign started in February, and will run through the end of March. You can also follow: #SayHiWithASnowman and on Generation Wild’s Facebook and Instagram.

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(photos courtesy of: Children’s Hospital Colorado and Generation Wild)

About Generation Wild
Generation Wild was created by GOCO to reconnect kids with nature by increasing the amount of time they spend outside in unstructured play – the kind of play that used to be way more common. The program is an integrated, statewide effort supported by a statewide network of non-profit, public and private partner organizations. In 12 Colorado communities, diverse, locally based Generation Wild coalitions are creating equitable access to the outdoors with new places to play, outdoor programs, and pathways to leadership opportunities and jobs in the outdoors.

About Great Outdoors Colorado
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,500 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO for more information.

About Children’s Hospital Colorado
Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of the nation’s leading and most expansive nonprofit pediatric healthcare systems with a mission to improve the health of children through patient care, education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1908 and recognized as a top 10 children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Colorado has established itself as a pioneer in the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking treatments that are shaping the future of pediatric healthcare worldwide. Children’s Colorado offers a full spectrum of family-centered care at its urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Colorado, including an academic medical center on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, hospitals in Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch and Broomfield, and outreach clinics across the region. For more information, visit Children’s Hospital Colorado or connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.