IPP&T Magazine Online

Plibrico helps fill the Happy Carts at children’s hospital

March 26, 2019  

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Plibrico Company and two PliPartners – F.S. Sperry and Empire Refractory Services – collaborated in assembling more than 2,200 craft kits to stock the Happy Carts at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

“The St Jude organization and their mission resonated with our employees and PliPartners which made the decision easy when we were looking for opportunity to give back,” said Brad Taylor president and CEO of the Plibrico Company in Northbrook, Ill. “Not only was it an opportunity to provide some happiness for a child and their family in a time of need, but it was a great way to engage our business partners to make a difference and have some fun.”

The Happy Cart Program is a volunteer initiative at the hospital, going around to inpatient rooms several nights a week to provide the children and their parents essential playtime in arts and craft-making that speeds the gruelling passage of hours, and soothes the soul while it offers enjoyable, creative distraction.

Ninety-five Plibrico and PliPartner associates came together in 11 different offices from Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio to prepare the kits. Each craft kit consisted of carefully selected hobby components with assembly pictures and instructions. The resulting projects included colourful and comical beaded animals, fire breathing dragons, dream catchers, spinners, pipe cleaner snakes, bug clothespins and race cars.

“Taking the time to give back is important for any business and something we look to do every year,” said Taylor. “While we say that thru our Happy Cart Project effort we created 2,200 kits, what we actually accomplished is so much more… we touch the lives of 2,200 families in a time of need with a simple act of kindness. I’m incredibly proud of our company, employees and partners.”

The Happy Cart Program has been operating at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since about 2015 and has brought peace of mind to thousands of patients and their families. Numerous hospitals like St. Jude have adopted arts and crafts projects as an established inpatient therapy for learning, coping and self-expression, especially valuable for the young.

“We really wanted to engage the kids and help make life a little easier for them,” said Pamela Gaul, Plibrico’s director of marketing who helped coordinate the whole project. “When a little boy or girl opens up their craft kit with her mom, dad or a volunteer helper, it’s like the world just got brighter and friendlier. They have a stimulating, creative project to work on together, and it takes their thoughts away from some of the larger challenges that they face.”