Soaringwords reaches out to ill children and their families both in person and online, providing fun, creative and educational modules based on positive psychology concepts that enhance wellbeing. The Soaringwords website contains over 1,000 pages of “best of the best” in positive psychology, mind-body wellness expertise, and a wealth of videos and activities that enhance wellbeing, wellness, creativity, and community, and promote health and healing.

The visionary behind Soaringwords is Lisa Buksbaum, who left her successful career as a global marketing executive after three experiences with death and illness in her family. Within a ten-month period, her only sibling died suddenly, her dad had his second bout of cancer and was hospitalized for several months, and her oldest child was bedridden four months with rheumatic fever. Today, her dad and son are recovered.  Lisa has devoted the past 13 years to launching, leading, and providing the vision behind Soaringwords. It is her hope that Soaringwords will become the leading resource and destination for ill children, their families and the extended community, helping them realize that “the power to heal” resides inside each of them.

While in the hospital with her family, it became obvious to Lisa that some things her child and family really needed to cope and heal were not available to them or did not even exist. She was determined to change this situation to make things easier for other families who are going through crisis.

Lisa explains: “While walking on the beach during the height of my son’s illness, I felt I had a calling when the name ‘Soaringwords’ came to me from above. At that moment I knew that was why I was born, so I set about to create a healing community for ill children and families with all of the psychosocial tools (healing visualizations, dance, pay-it-forward projects) that would connect them to ‘the power to heal.’ ”

SoaringwordsClass300x200Through the Soaringwords website, their outreach to hospitals, schools and community programs using web content, videos, webinars, and in-person projects, Soaringwords programming invites everyone—ill children and their families, healthy children, and volunteers— “to pay-it-forward” by creating and giving healing words of encouragement and heartfelt artistic creations to others. This enhances wellbeing by increasing feelings of meaning, purpose, health, resilience, and happiness through fostering altruism, reciprocity, and empathy.

“Soaringwords seeks to change the current paradigm of illness/healing by de-stigmatizing pediatric illness. We strive to make kids and families understand that being ill is a natural part of life, and that it is okay to talk about it,” explains Buksbaum. “Soaringwords interventions show ill children and families how they can take active roles in healing.”

540757_10151441230943163_1156968357_nLisa recognized Digging Deep as a fun, effective tool that does just that—it enables sick kids to take back some control in their healing process. Soaringwords made Digging Deep one of their Book Club selections and created a series of Digging Deep videos for the Book Club. Another of their signature programs is “Soaringwords + Zumba Fitness = Love for Hospitalized Children”, a powerful monthly initiative that enhances the wellbeing of patients, families and hospital staff. Each month, volunteers lead a Soaringwords creative activity followed by a fun and lively modified Zumba class for pediatric patients, families, nurses and hospital professionals. Click here for the Soaring Superhero activity and video, yet another fantastic program that lets kids and families pay it forward.

Since inception, Soaringwords has engaged 135,000 volunteers, allowing them to provide programming to 250,000 pediatric patients in 196 children’s hospitals nationally and internationally, with 65 hospitals receiving services on a monthly basis. Soaringwords is looking for hospital partners to participate in their research study to measure superior patient outcomes of their positive psychology model. To learn more, please contact Lisa at lisa@soaringwords.org. If your company is looking for an employee engagement activity, again, contact Lisa for service day possibilities with Soaringwords at your local hospital.

Congratulations to Lisa, her small staff and the enormous team of Soaringwords volunteers for all you do to support children and families!

 

Sheri Brisson
Sheri Sobrato Brisson is a brain tumor survivor who discovered the importance of self-reflection during her recovery. From her personal illness experience and a dozen years supporting families and children with serious illness, her life’s philanthropic mission is to empower families and children facing serious illness. She has started and facilitated support groups for children with illness and their families for over twenty years with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Brain Tumor Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Packard Children’s Hospital. She has served as Board Member for many children’s health nonprofit organizations including American Cancer Society San Jose, UCSF/Mt. Zion Auxiliary, Creighton Health Institute, and Okizu Foundation. Brisson received her master’s degree in counseling from Santa Clara University and her undergraduate degree in human biology from Stanford University.

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