A Giant Where’s Waldo Game is Putting Smiles on Sick Kids’ Faces

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Here’s an example of how anyone can make the world a little brighter and happier, without changing jobs, spending much time or money.

Since April, pediatric patients at Memorial Children’s Hospital have been jumping out of bed each day, rushing to a window and staring deep into the construction site next door.  That’s because they know that somewhere in the construction site, Waldo is hiding – and it’s their task to find him.

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The Waldo the kids are searching for is an 8-foot-tall wooden cut-out created by Jason Haney, a general contractor for the expansion of Memorial Children’s Hospital, and his daughter, Taylor.  Taylor suffered a stroke at 3 years old and needed to be hospitalized every 3 months. Doctors predicted she wouldn’t be able to learn past the third-grade level.  Now 14 years later, she’s graduated from high school and heading to Ball State University. It’s the kind of better future that Jason and Taylor hope for kids receiving care at Memorial Children’s Hospital.

 

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In addition to using his construction skills five days a week at Memorial, Jason would place Waldo randomly at various locations on the construction site that were visible to pediatric patients from the sixth floor of the hospital.

Patients will run to the window and stare for a few minutes and then you’ll hear them exclaim, ‘I found him!’ ” Heidi, one of the hospital staff said, “It brightens their days and it brightens our days, too. He has touched so many lives with this game. It’s just amazing to watch the kids’ faces light up and to see them look forward to looking out their windows every day.”

This quickly developed into game.  Once the kids have found Waldo, Jason was notified and he would move Waldo to another location. Jason has even created a Facebook page for kids and adults alike to participate outside of the hospital – and some of them are not easy!

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Jason came up with the Waldo idea after a snowman that workers put on the construction site during winter delighted the hospital’s patients and staff. One of Jason’s colleagues thought it would be funny if there was a Waldo. What’s Jason and Taylor’s next project before Taylor goes to University? Four Minions that will be hidden around the site as well!

Construction worker hides Where's Wally on building for kids in hospital next door to find  Picture: Heidi Prescott/Beacon Health System

I’m glad the kids are enjoying it.” Jason said, “Being part of this construction project that is going to help kids means a lot to me and the others on the construction teams. It’s going to be a great thing for our community.”

(Story via Beacon Health System)