Project Sunshine Spreads Light in Hospitals

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Project Sunshine, an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of children in hospitals, thrives at NYU. Whether it be through visiting hospital patients or sending items — such as  Surgi Dolls, or handmade dolls that help children prepare for medical procedures, Sunny Grams, which are special greeting cards that the group sends to patients, and craft kits — to them, the branch at NYU actively works to normalize the experience of children in hospitals.

“Project Sunshine is an international nonprofit dedicated to helping children in hospitals smile,” Ayesha Shah, Stern senior and Project Sunshine at NYU co-president, said. “We’ve played with children at the Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, and next semester, we will start volunteering at the Brooklyn Hospital Center.”

Shah said that Project Sunshine at NYU has also collaborated with different branches of the university to spread its message more this semester. She also said that the group has been able to increase its presence at NYU this past year.

“We’ve partnered with Applied Psych to make Surgi Dolls and with Broome Street Residential College to make Sunny Grams as well as send volunteers on hospital visits,” Shah said. “Last semester, we worked with the Pediatric Nursing Student Association to make cards, too.”

CAS sophomore and Project Sunshine at NYU treasurer Nisha Bagchi said that the group’s partnership with NYU has helped it work towards its mission of brightening the days of young hospital patients.

“Project Sunshine has several fundraisers throughout each academic year to spread our message to the NYU students,” Bagchi said. “We also have many collaboration events with other NYU organizations where we make crafts for the children in the hospital.”

Steinhardt sophomore and Project Sunshine at NYU vice president Hannah Song said that she enjoys interacting with children through Project Sunshine.

“I think my favorite part are the hospital visits themselves,” Song said. “It’s great to see that we are able to bond with them as much as we can, and just hanging out with them as if they aren’t hospitalized in [the] first place.”

Shah’s favorite part about being involved with Project Sunshine is the people she works with — both in the hospitals and within the group.

“I love working with the children, who have so much energy even if they’re receiving medical treatment,” Shah said. “The volunteers and club members are always eager to work on craft projects and connect with the children.”

Project Sunshine also provides a forum for students to learn valuable life skills. Bagchi said that she has been able to be more involved with both the NYU and New York City communities by being a part of the group.

“Project Sunshine gives me the ability to give back to the local community and it has taught me valuable skills like how to communicate effectively with the children at the hospital,” Bagchi said.

Email Natasha Roy at [email protected].