Market Overview

KidLinks Foundation Celebrates 10 Years of Making Little Lives a Little Better

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DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The KidLinks Foundation – a Dallas-based non-profit organization that has been improving the emotional and physical needs of children by directly funding music therapy programs in North Texas – is celebrating its 10th anniversary by raising the public’s awareness about the therapeutic benefits of music, as well as several groundbreaking programs located in Dallas.

Children’s Medical Center Music Therapy Program, SMU/Hugworks Music Therapy Program, and Hurst-based Hugworks are funded in part by KidLinks.

“The support provided by KidLinks enables children to experience pleasure and joy in spite of dire circumstances,” says J.W. Brown, Director of KidLinks Foundation. “For children with developmental delays, music therapy programs are enabling them to learn, grow and thrive despite impossible odds. It’s breathtaking to see how music therapy can reach a child when no other teaching or therapeutic method can.”

Hugworks provides live musical programs for hospitalized children, reducing their fear, anxiety and stress while receiving care. They also provide music therapy for children with special needs such as Autism and neurological disorders. Hugworks was one of the first organizations to receive financial support from KidLinks.

“Our first donation from KidLinks was a new van that enabled us to travel across the state to perform at hospitals,” says Jim Newton, President and Founder of Hugworks. “A decade later, we’ve been able to distribute audio CDs for the kids we serve; launch a music therapy program that includes several full-time therapists and a facility for them to work in; and we’ve been able to launch a successful collaboration and mentoring program with SMU. Our ability to grow and positively impact the lives of North Texas children is due in large part to KidLinks.”

Just one of the hospitals Hugworks regularly performs at is Children’s Medical Center, Dallas. In addition to therapeutic music entertainment, the hospital also provides music therapy for children throughout the facility, including the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD).

“With KidLinks’ support, we’ve been able to hire additional music therapists and purchase audio/visual equipment,” says Lisa Jones, music therapist at Children’s Medical Center. “The additional staff enables us to cover more patient populations, and spend more time with them, resulting in a stronger therapeutic relationship. This is especially important for children receiving long-term chronic care and/or those with a life-limiting diagnosis. It allows them to form positive associations and memories of their time at the hospital.”

Jones adds, “The A/V equipment gives our patients a vehicle to share how they’re feeling or leave messages for loved ones. That keepsake is priceless to friends and family.”

The SMU/Hugworks Music Therapy Program began with the support of KidLinks and the Rees-Jones Foundation. Part of the Meadows School of the Arts, SMU is one of only 30 college campuses in the United States that offers music therapy curriculum, as well as an on-site clinic for students to be mentored by board-certified music therapists. The clinic offers both private and group sessions to children of all ages and at no charge to the families.

“Today, parents of special needs children are completely overwhelmed with bills that insurance frequently does not cover. The services we provide benefit families throughout Dallas as well as our students,” says Dr. Robert Krout, Professor and Director of Music Therapy for the SMU Meadows School of the Arts. “This program, coupled with internships with Hugworks, allows our students to learn in a one-of-a-kind hands-on environment.”

Also part of the program’s curriculum is learning how to become champions for music therapy upon graduation. SMU encourages students to develop relationships with businesses in order to fund future programs. They will also learn how to effectively market to and educate the health care industry about the benefits music therapy can provide to patients and the bottom line. “Thanks to KidLinks and the Rees-Jones Foundation, we are able to mentor music therapy leaders, one student at a time,” says Krout.

A Symphony of Chefs

In order to further support these worthy programs, the KidLinks Foundation will be hosting its first annual spring fundraiser, “A Symphony of Chefs” on Monday, May 17, 2010 at the Petroleum Club in Dallas. Attendees will experience an evening of fine dining with top Dallas chefs. Each chef will prepare a five-course dinner tableside exclusively for a table of 10 guests. For more information on the event, please contact (214) 209-1039.

For more information regarding KidLinks:
Elizabeth Peichel
www.kidlinksfoundation.org
(214) 336-8344

For more information regarding these music therapy programs:
www.hugworks.org
www.childrens.com
www.smu.edu/meadows

for KidLinks Foundation
Elizabeth Peichel, 214-336-8344

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