Volunteer Brings Beach Party to Hospitalized Children - My9 New Jersey

Volunteer Brings Beach Party to Hospitalized Children

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MY9TV.COM--Tonight, we get to meet a Hospital Hero with a special mission. She's making sure kids who never get to go to the beach still get the chance to experience it.  Brenda Blackmon has the story.

THE SOUND OF THE SURF. THE FEEL OF THE SAND. THE CALL OF THE BOARDWALK. ALL PART OF THE SUMMER BEACH EXPERIENCE.

UNLESS YOU'RE A CHILD LIKE "POPPY" WHOSE LIFE IS INSIDE A HOSPITAL. SO ON THIS DAY, THE BEACH EXPERIENCE WAS BROUGHT TO POPPY, AND HIS FRIENDS.

Poppy says: "I HAD AN ICE POP."

THEY GOT TO FEEL THE SAND.

"its what the beach feel like, right"

TO PLAY BOARDWALK GAMES, LIKE SHOOTING THE DUCKS.

"LET'S GET THIS ONE...LOWER, LOWER, LOWER"

GET THEIR FACES PAINTED.

"IT WAS YOUR BIRTHDAY JUST RECENTLY WSN'T IT? YES"

AND THEY SMILE.

JUST AS IF THEY WERE FEELING THE OUTDOOR SUMMER WIND BLOWING ON THEIR FACES.

"FEEL IT. THIS IS THE SUMMER WIND. OOH"

BRINGING THE BEACH TO THE KIDS, IS THE BRAINCHILD OF FRAN BOCCELLA.

Fran Bocella says: "This is my special love here."

FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS, SHE HAS BROUGHT THIS BEACH PARTY TO THE LONG-TERM UNIT OF CHILDREN'S SPECIALIZED HOSPITAL, A MEMBER OF THE CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK.

Fran says: "They are not fragile, they will respond to you like you won't believe. we want them to have the experience of what it feels like to go to the beach."

SHE'S GROWN THE PARTY FROM ONE CLASSROOM TO AN ENTIRE HOSPITAL UNIT.

FROM ONE VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT TO 40.

AND FROM A HANDFUL OF CHILDREN TO 42.

"WE WANT THEM TO EXPERIENCE WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO GO TO THE BEACH"

AND FRAN IS NOT ALONE IN HER PASSION.

IT'S RUBBED OFF ON THE VOLUNTEERS WHO GUIDE THE KIDS THROUGH THE FUN. LIKE HOLDING YOUNG HANDS, SO THEY CAN SHOOT THE DUCKS WITH WATER GUNS.

"HERE WE GO, YES YOU DID IT"

OR MAKING SURE THEIR THEIR PAINTED T-SHIRTS COME OUT JUST RIGHT.

JUST AS THEY WOULD ON THE BOARDWALK.

FOR JUDY POTTER, WHO RUNS THE LONG-TERM UNIT, FRAN IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW VOLUNTEERS CAN MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE.

Judy Potter says: "OH, SHE'S MY HERO...SHE SAID THOSE KIDS WHO LIVE IN THE LONG-TERM THEY'RE MY HEART. MY KIDS"

THE KIDS SEEM TO AGREE.

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