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The Gift of Hope

by Windy Pham

The Message of Hope Foundation’s mission is to bring hope and happiness to hospitalized children with special needs or chronic and life-threatening illnesses. One of the major ways Message of Hope Foundation delivers this is through their Happy Hope Bags. Filled with creative activities and special items, these bags help create fun memories and provide comfort to children receiving medical care. As one of Encore Boston Harbor’s community partners, Encore team members have packed over 2,000 hope bags for hospitalized children. 

Since children could not have visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Message of Hope created the Hope Library to continue to bring hope and smiles to hospitalized children in which volunteers record themselves reading books that children can watch from their hospital rooms. Aleece Sullivan, an Encore Boston Harbor Banquet Manager, loves reading for children and has a very personal connection to Message of Hope Foundation. While Aleece was growing up, her younger sister was incredibly ill. Aleece remembers her and her family members taking her sister on frequent trips to the hospital for ongoing testing and blood work in addition to assisting with her extensive at home treatment. 

It was hard for Aleece to watch her sister at the hospital without any other support during her visits. Now as an adult, Aleece loves volunteering for Message of Hope Foundation as her way of making hospital visits less scary for children in addition to supporting a local organization. During Aleece’s time in self-quarantine, she recorded herself reading children’s books. As Aleece said, “So many kids are too young to understand what’s happening to them and it’s overwhelming and scary. I want to volunteer with Happy Hope Factory because it is incredibly personal to me. When you spend a few minutes to read the books, you are able to make someone feel good and provide relief.” 

Aleece’s favorite book? Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. 

To learn more about Message of Hope Foundation, visit their website at