SKIP bags bring comfort, joy to children in hospital

From needle pokes, to doctor appointments, and spoonfuls of medicine, children in the hospital have to face a lot of scary procedures. Sometimes it's hard for them just to be a kid.

But one 15-year-old Clinton Township girl is trying to make the children's stay a little more comforting, and she is doing it one stitch at a time.

"My charity is S.K.I.P, Supporting Kids in Pain," said Sarah Maisano. "Our sole purpose is to fill and deliver gift bags year round."

"She has a lot of TLC," said mom Sharon Maisano. "She cares about people and things and children and she is always willing to help."

SKIP started as a fundraiser in middle school, but it quickly blossomed into a job for Sarah. Each SKIP Bag is hand-stitched, filled with toys and donated to children in hospitals all across the country.

"So far we have shipped to Children's Hospital in Michigan, St. Judes in Tennessee," said Sarah." The Ronald McDonald House is New York, Dallas Medical Center, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland."

When the children receive the bags, just for a moment, they forget their pain and play.

Jennifer Faunce is a mother who knows first-hand how powerful a SKIP Bag can be. Her son Dylan, is a SKIP recipient. He has been in and out of the hospital for the last 12 years.

"Dylan has spent countless days and nights here at Children's Hospital for the past 12 years," said Faunce. "By having toys in the hospital, it makes up, just a little bit, for the lack of family and companionship."

Each SKIP Bag comes with a coloring book, crayons, jump rope, and either a book or puzzle. Last year, SKIP donated more than 600 bags to children.

"For this year our goal is to double what we did," said Sharon Maisano. "So we love to get 1,200 bags out."

Only two years into the operation, SKIP has helped ease the pain for so many children.

"It is something to be excited about," said Faunce. "Something to be happy about, especially something new -- its exciting. It is quite amazing. At 15, she has managed to bring so much joy to so many kids."

"I'd like to donate to Children's Hospitals in all 50 states," said Sarah. "I would like to make this my full-time career, and eventually donate to every children's hospital in the U.S."

If you are interested in helping fill the SKIP bags, below is a wishlist. New items only.

Monetary donations for shipping cost
Coloring books
Books for all ages
Jump ropes
Stuffed animals

All donations can be sent to St.Michael's Church:

40501 Hayed Rd.
Sterling Hts. MI 48313

SKIP Supporting Kids In Pain
 P.O. Box 380851
 42383 Garfield Rd.
Clinton Twp., MI 48038

For more information on Supporting Kids In Pain, please visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/skip.forkids