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HOP Stories & Experiences

Helped To Lift My Spirits

I just want to thank Hole in the Wall for giving me a shot at a normal childhood. Sitting back 10 years later in a hospital bed making a pumpkin with an old camp counselor just reminds me of how Hole in the Wall helped me to lift my spirits. From all the amazing activities to the loving, kind-hearted counselors, Hole in the Wall is truly a great experience and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would, because just sitting here sharing stories with Chris and laughing makes me forget about all the pain I’m in. You guys do it for free, so I know it comes from the heart. Once again, thank you.

HOP Participant Imani

A Wonderful Introduction to Camp

Children and families really look forward to having HOP present. They enjoy seeing faces that they know from Camp and it’s a wonderful introduction to those who don’t know Camp but would be eligible! We always hear about their fun nature and creative ideas and games!

Hospital Staff

Fun That Even Crosses the Language Barrier

We had a patient who was new to the United States and here for medical treatment with his mother, while his father and siblings were still far away. This patient and his mother spoke almost no English. I had provided activities and support to the patient, but due to the limited time I could spend with him and the language barrier, hadn’t been able to engage him as much as I would have liked. One day, while he was getting a transfusion, the HOP specialist worked with the patent to make a sort of diorama with animals and a jungle scene. It was the first time I had seen the patient so involved and smiling. Even though he couldn’t say so in English, it was clear that he was proud of the creation and was having fun.

Hospital Staff

Allows the Child a Chance To Be a Kid

Each of the HOP staff I have come in contact with has provided unique and heartfelt stories. From a smile in the distance, to having someone who is coming to do something with the child instead of to them, to allow the child a chance to be a kid for a little while. For some of our kids who are in for long periods of time, it is a positive break from isolation – without any baggage of being evaluated or judged.

Hospital Staff


HOP specialists have the ability to empower our young patients who are then able to share with others what they have learned. I watch this happen over and over again, creating an environment of self-esteem and many smiles.

Hospital Staff

An Amazing Relationship

Our HOP specialist has established an amazing relationship with a 10-year-old boy who has a poor prognosis. Consistently on his worst days, he has sought her out to engage with her when he wasn’t up for doing anything else. The art projects they have been working on together are the main décor in his room and will be an amazing legacy piece for him and his family.

Hospital Staff

A Huge Positive Support

I had a patient that needed emergency surgery and woke up with an ostomy bag. This patient sat at the edge of his bed, with the lights off, and hands holding his head up. He was so upset about the bag and what it was, etc…I was able to support the diagnosis teaching and explanation for the bag…but was at a loss as to how to further connect to encourage this patient out of his room – for he was embarrassed that others would know he was pooping into a bag. So I asked a HOP specialist to see him and they connected! Soon the lights were on in the room, they were drawing sport score predictions on the patient's window and the patient came out to playgroup for the first time. This patient has been admitted with multiple complications since this first surgery and every time he comes in he smiles when HOP is mentioned; it is such a huge positive support in his life.

Hospital Staff