A group of Dickinson College students selected Vinny’s Kids, Inc. for their senior project, and created the following promotional video.
This charitable program was begun in 2004 by Vinny Cherry, then 14 years old, to provide sick children with entertainment during their hospital stay. Inspired by his own experience while hospitalized at age 7, Vinny hoped to make the experience less stressful for young patients.
The hospital’s activity room had many worn toys and a limited selection of outdated entertainment, and no hospital funds were available for needed replacements or additional purchases.
Vinny developed the program initially by collecting used and new videotapes, DVDs, CDs, toys, books, games, and electronics to outfit an activities room at the Harrisburg Hospital pediatric unit, working through Child Life Services of Pinnacle Health System. Child Life specialists recognized that the availability of appropriate entertainment helps hospitalized children cope with stressful medical procedures, makes the hospital experience more comfortable and less intimidating, and helps to create positive memories for young patients and their families. Vinny's Kids, Inc. has expanded to benefit needy or sick children beyond the Harrisburg Hospital program, and continues to find creative ways to recycle gently used, age-appropriate items.
Solicitations are made through personal contact and by mail, and include memorial and honorary donation opportunities. Cash donations are used to purchase expendable items such as play doh, bubbles, coloring books/crayons, and new toys as needed, new portable CD players, laptops and any other items requested by the organizations with which he works. Vinny's Kids, Inc. has expanded fundraising in a variety of ways, through grants and fundraisers, and by working with other organizations that name Vinny’s Kids, Inc. as the recipient of their charitable fundraising. View a listing of our fundraising partners, their efforts and photos.
In turn, Vinny’s Kids, Inc. donates to programs that are geared to improving the lives of children, and to individuals or groups of individuals. For example, hospital-based pediatric programs, special needs programs, Camp Victory (a network of camps for children with specialized medical needs), Camp Echo (pediatric heart patients), Camp STAR (mobility challenged) and other programs for children.
Vinny's Kids, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. All contributions are tax deductible and receipts for tax purposes are provided for all donations. The official registration and financial information of Vinny's Kids, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
For more information, or to donate items, contact Vinny Cherry at Vinny's Kids, Inc., 1671 Nottingham Drive, Hummelstown, PA 17036.
For monetary donations, please make check payable to Vinny’s Kids, Inc. Please indicate the name of the individual you are remembering with memorial or honorary donations so that proper acknowledgment can be made.