INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 23, 2012) – Riley Children’s Foundation, Basket of Hope and former Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy have kicked off the first-ever Super Bowl host city service project that reaches across the nation. The Super Baskets of Hope project is made possible thanks to the generosity of Indiana companies, including The Saturday Evening Post.
Super Baskets of Hope will deliver 7,000 gift-filled baskets to critically ill children in each of America’s 32 NFL cities – including Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health – and cities throughout Indiana. Over 500 volunteers will gather January 30 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis to fill baskets with items that will provide entertainment and inspiration to hospitalized children. NFL players, coaches and alumni and other regional volunteers will deliver the baskets to children in hospitals.
The Saturday Evening Post located in Indianapolis, has provided U.S. Kids magazines, Turtle, Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill, for each basket. U.S. Kids is committed to improving the health and well-being of children. The magazines encourage children to strive for excellence in the areas of academics, personal fitness, medicine and science. The publications are designed to educate and entertain readers and to promote good health and fitness among all children. The Saturday Evening Post and Turtle, Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill, are published by the nonprofit Saturday Evening Post Society.
The baskets also contain: caps from Lids for every child’s home team; Notre Dame footballs; Colts water bottles; Indiana Pacers/Indiana Fever basketballs; Vera Bradley journals; software from Musical DNA; Pillow Pets provided by KLOVE radio in honor of the late Riley patient Jacob McConahay; Tony and Lauren Dungy’s latest children’s book; and five games from Fundex. Tote bags will also be given to families with spiritually uplifting and comforting books and CDs. A major donation from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans funded these items and U Design Jewelry donated unique “hope” necklaces for every tote.
For Dungy, this is a natural extension of the Basket of Hope program, for which he is the national spokesman. The program’s goal is to nurture hospitalized children mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But, as Dungy notes, “I think this program does as much for the volunteers as it does for the kids. To see the fight and resolve these children have is truly special. After these visits, we feel they’ve helped us see life more clearly.”
Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors Chair Jim Morris says Super Baskets of Hope extends Riley’s mission to advance the health and well-being of children everywhere. “Children facing a medical crisis need nurturing and comfort,” said Morris. “Riley’s red wagon has come to symbolize that hope for children in Indiana and throughout the country.”
For further details and to make a donation visit www.SuperBasketsofHope.org.