Playing 4 Hope was founded in order to make a difference in the lives of children who suffer from disability, illness, or disease. We do this by pairing a patient at MU Women's and Children's Hospital with an athlete from the University of Missouri.

At every visit, the child is brought a personalized video message from the athlete they are paired with. This video is meant to remind the child of the strength they possess and to encourage them to keep pushing forward through whatever adversity they may be facing. The child also receives a gift basket from our sponsors and a wristband from Playing 4 Hope to match the one the athlete is wearing. The wristband symbolizes a special bond between the two.  It lets the child know that athlete has dedicated their game, and their fight, to them. The friends and family of the child also receive matching wristbands as they, too, are on the same team.

We also encourage all of the children to send a “pump up” video or note back to the athlete (or team) who is playing for them, giving them the extra encouragement to get the job done. During football season, we provide the child, their family, and the entire pediatric floor with all the essentials of a tailgate. This includes food, beverages, backyard games, and a watch party to cheer on their paired athlete!