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$2.5 Million in donations brings Teammates for Kids Child Life Zone to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU

The Zone, set to open in late summer, is funded by individual and corporate donations, including an anonymous lead gift of $2 million.

Trevor Dickerson

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Construction is underway at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU for the new Child Life Zone—a space dedicated to the social and emotional well-being of patients during their stay at the hospital. The Zone, set to open in late summer, is funded by individual and corporate donations, including an anonymous lead gift of $2 million. To meet the funding goals of the Child Life Zone, the gift was bolstered by a $300,000 donation from Meta, along with $185,000 from the 7th Annual Words & Wisdom event.

CHoR’s Child Life Zone is designed and built through a strategic partnership with the Teammates for Kids Foundation, established by country music star Garth Brooks.

Located on the Sky Lobby level of the Children’s Tower, the 3,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art space will be staffed by the hospital’s child life specialists, certified professionals who help children and families cope with medical challenges through play, education and self-expression. The space will have areas to watch movies, play video games, complete art projects, make music and enjoy snacks. It also will have a toddler zone and a special lounge just for teenage patients.

The CHoR Child Life Zone will be one of only 14 Child Life Zones Teammates for Kids has established in children’s hospitals across the country. Their team offers best practices and expertise to guarantee that each Child Life Zone provides a high-quality, engaging experience.

“This dedicated space represents more than just a playground; it’s a sanctuary where children can reclaim their sense of safety, empowerment and childhood joy,” said Bethany Fisackerly, Child Life Supervisor at CHoR. “We are so grateful to the donors, whose generosity and foresight reinforces our commitment to nurturing both the body and spirit of every child we serve.”

Similar to the Children’s Tower, the design and décor of the Child Life Zone will reflect the Central Virginia area, including an interactive water table to resemble the James River and a clubhouse built like an American Indian longhouse.

In addition to the $2 million contribution, Meta’s $300,000 pledge will help in building out the maker space, teen lounge area and gaming pod. These spaces will enable pediatric patients and their families to connect, play, learn and relax.

“Bringing the Child Life Zone to fruition is a collaboration among individuals and organizations who understand the importance of enhancing the patient experience and making sure joy is also a part of a child’s hospital stay,” said Lauren Moore, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We’re fortunate and incredibly grateful to all the donors for supporting this special project and place for CHoR.”

For more information or to give to Children’s Hospital Foundation, visit chfrichmond.org.

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