Forrest Sibling Playroom
August 26, 2011 marked the grand opening of the “Forrest Sibling Playroom” at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. This room provides a secure and fun place for the healthy siblings of hospitalized children. Parents can now take advantage of the Sibling Room while they spend crucial quality time with their sick child.
The Sibling Room has been a long-time dream of the Spences and the Board of the Forrest Spence Fund. While volunteering at Le Bonheur, Brittany Spence realized that many parents of multiple children could not visit their sick child due to the financial and logistical strains of childcare. During the planning of the new Le Bonheur hospital, Brittany brought this need to the attention of the hospital administrators. They gave the Forrest Spence Fund an official “yes” to address this need and begin designing this special space, and the work began.
The Board, staff and volunteers of the Forrest Spence Fund took on the project with vigor and decided to design and fully fund the entire project. David and Brittany Spence contracted a local artist, Elaine Pacello, who did an incredible job painting the wall murals. Elaine turned an otherwise ordinary room into a beautiful and whimsical forest of pine trees and small friendly animals. The Spences and other Fund representatives also selected all the furniture, flooring, toys and child-friendly play equipment. The room has a full time staff person along with volunteers to help while children are present.
This project is so dear to the Spences and the Forrest Spence Fund community. Its grand-opening is a dream come true. The mission of the Fund is to come alongside the entire family and offer support to each affected member; this unique environment does just that. Forrest Spence’s very own two brothers were the first children to enter the room at its grand opening, and it was definitely younger-brother-approved on two counts!
*There are many opportunities for volunteering and purchasing supplies for the room. Please email Brittany at brittany [at] forrestspencefund [dot] org if you are interested in helping in any way. Thank you!