Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is making life better for Arizona kids
Last spring, teen patients from
Banner Children’s at Desert and
Banner Children’s at Thunderbird
enjoyed a special outdoor “Prom by
the Pool" at the Omni Scottsdale
Resort at Montelucia.
The hospital experience has become more joyful for young patients at Banner Children’s medical centers in Arizona, thanks to a range of programs and projects supported by the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. As the charitable foundation supported by Dunkin' franchisees, guests, vendor partners and employees, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation partners with food banks, children's hospitals, and nonprofit organizations across the country to fund joyful environments and joyful experiences for kids when they need it most.
“We are so grateful to be among the many organizations to benefit from Dunkin’s generosity over the past three years, receiving nearly $300,000 in grant funding to bring new programs, experiences, and enhancements to our Banner Children’s medical centers and patients,” said Andy Kramer Petersen, president & CEO for the Banner Health Foundation.
The Banner Health Foundation recently received a $150,000 Connecting Joy grant from Dunkin’ to support a new rehabilitation-focused and virtual reality gaming platform that will be piloted at Banner Children’s at Desert in the coming months, with expansion to Banner Thunderbird and Diamond Children’s planned in the next few years.
A Roaring ’20s-themed prom took
place in April 2022 at the University
of Arizona Football Stadium for
patients of Diamond Children’s
Last spring, teen patients from Banner Children’s at Desert and Banner Children’s at Thunderbird enjoyed a special outdoor “Prom by the Pool” at the Omni Scottsdale Resort at Montelucia, with funding and volunteers from Dunkin’ making the day possible. Twenty-seven teens spent the day in a shaded cabana with a rotating menu of donuts and tasty treats. They enjoyed a “glam” station with hair and makeup stylists, professional photography and backdrops, yard games, a Nintendo Switch station for gamers, the chance to design their own custom Converse Chuck Taylor shoes to take home, custom t-shirt screen printing, and a gifting suite to create their own “swag bags.”
Also, in partnership with Dunkin’, a Roaring ’20s-themed prom was held in April 2022 at the University of Arizona Football Stadium for patients of Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center. Teens enjoyed a magical night filled with fun foods, a photo booth, gift bags, games, and other surprises. As a special treat, inspiring messages were delivered from UA coaches on the giant screen. Watch a video of the prom below:
“Prom is celebrated by many Arizona teens each spring, but every year patients battling cancer and other serious illnesses may have to miss the party. We’re grateful to partner with Banner Children’s to create a night of joy for deserving teens who may have been unable to attend important celebrations,” said Dan Cataldo, Dunkin’ Team West operations manager, Joy in Childhood Foundation, co-chair of the West/Southern region and a cancer survivor. “These teens often are separated from friends, family, and ‘typical’ milestones and this event allows them to focus for a few hours on having fun and creating special memories, rather than a diagnosis.”
Additionally, for Diamond Children’s patients, a new teen lounge opened in May, offering patients areas to sit and relax, socialize with other teens, or just watch TV. Funded by the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation and the Starlight Foundation, the brightly decorated space is designed to ease stress and support the overall health and well-being of patients. Additional technology, including a gaming system, will be added soon. Watch a video of the grand opening below:
Through their regional grant program, Dunkin’ also contributed toward the $3 million fundraising goal to build a Play Zone at Diamond Children’s Medical Center. When complete, the bright, non-medical Play Zone will provide a supportive environment that allows kids to ask questions and explore their emotions. Child Life specialists will work with them to build coping skills, decrease anxiety, address their psychosocial well-being, reduce trauma, and prepare for procedures and treatments. The Play Zone will also foster recreation and therapeutic play, speeding recovery time and lifting the spirits of young patients
Since 2006, the Joy in Childhood Foundation has granted more than $40 million to hundreds of national and local charities across the country.