As the story goes, a grandfather was visiting his ailing granddaughter at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (what was then the University of Michigan Hospital). He realized that, although she was receiving excellent medical care, he wanted more for his granddaughter. He was concerned that her educational needs were not being met. In 1922, the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor established a school and recreation program for the children’s units in the hospital.

From that hospital visit nearly 100 years ago, the Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation has evolved to what it is today. Through our Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation, we as Michigan Kiwanians contribute over $200,000 each year to help hospitalized children by supporting “non insurance reimbursable” activities promoting children’s recovery.

The support our Foundation provides can take many forms, but it is all designed to ease the anxieties and speed recovery of hospitalized children. And none of this would be possible without the support of Michigan District Kiwanians.

Anne Heier, Child Life Specialist at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, sums it up best. She says, “When a hospitalized child is able to get about the business of being a child … playing and learning … Mom and Dad can relax, allowing the child the calm atmosphere needed to heal.”

Our Hospitals

C.S.. MOTT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, ANN ARBOR | Child Life Specialists provide a variety of services for hospitalized children, from meeting a child in the emergency room to providing play areas for the children, to helping explain medical issues to the child (as well as other family members) at age-approriate levels. Most recently, the Child Life Department has used Foundation donations to “pilot” new strategies for helping children cope with their hospital stay. Here’s a sample of a pilot project that has taken on a life of its own… Denver’s New Job. For more information, click here.

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF MICHIGAN, DETROIT | The Child Life Specialists focus on reducing fear, anxiety and pain for hospitalized infants and children They do this through medical play and distraction. Child Life Specialists offer art therapy, music therapy and yoga therapy. A large number of children at Children’s Hospital must spend long hours in dialysis treatments. Art therapy is one very effective way for these children to feel less overwhelmed during their treatments. For more information, click here.

MARY FREE BED HOSPITAL & REHABILITATION CENTER, GRAND RAPIDS | As it’s name inplies, Mary Free Bed focuses on rehabilitation after catastrophoc injuries. They offer inpatient care with therapy designed for children and teens. Their “adaptive sports” program is widely known as a model for children, teens (and adults, too). For more information, click here. Click here to read “Stories That Move You”.

MCLAREN NORTHERN MICHIGAN HOSPITAL, PETOSKEY | It has the only inpatient hospital pediatric unit serving most of the northern portion of the lower peninsula and the upper peninsula of Michigan. The Child Life Department consists of one individual who fills many roles, whether that is meeting a child and their family in the emergency room, or supplying games and art supplies for hospitalized children. The hospital also provides education programs for children with long-term illnesses to help them cope once they leave the hospital.

Thank you for your interest in the Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation. We are here to support our hospitalized children!