Characters for Kids

$4,692 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 84 people in 24 months
Characters for Kids was started by myself to bring cartoon/storybook characters to life through visiting the sick and terminally ill children at the Children's Hospital of Illinois.

My first visit to the hospital was in June of 2017 when I made a volunteer appearance dressed as the Captain America. The smiles on the children’s faces and joy it brought them touched my heart. Storybook characters are so intriguing to their young minds. In the midst of the all the excitement of my Captain America appearance, numerous children asked me if I knew Spider-man, Iron Man, Mickey/Minnie Mouse and other characters. It was then that I knew I would love to continue returning to the hospital and bringing many characters to life for the children confined to the scary world of the hospital.

Two months later, in August, I returned back to the hospital along with my brother-in-law. I costumed as Captain America and he as Spider-Man. We all know how much kids LOVE Spider-Man! Once again as we entered the rooms and interacted with the children, their smiles and reactions were priceless. After this second visit a representative from the hospital contacted me to inquire if I had access to other costumes for returning visits.

Unfortunately, I do not and thus my reason for asking you and others for your help so I am able to purchase a variety of costumes and continue to do frequent special character visits at the hospital. Good costumes that are well made and made to last are quite pricey. The hospital offered to put together a wish list visit of characters for me so that I could purchase those costumes most requested.

As a parent myself I can honestly say there aren’t many things as difficult as what these children experience daily due to their illnesses. For a moment in time when they interact with these characters they are able to forget about their pain and illness. I believe through this small gesture I can make a big difference in the morale of these kids. I have been recruiting others to join me in the visits so that group characters could be present. We also like to bring small gifts for the children such as coloring books, crayons, books, toys, etc. Not only would your support mean a lot to me but to the kids and their families as well.

Since starting this campaign in 2017 we have visited numerous hospital's in 9 states. In 2019 our goal is to add 5 new hospitals in 3 new states. And with help in donations and spreading the word we can make this possible. We have done it before, so I know we can keep the momentum going!

Please consider any donation amount to help me bring more character visits to kids who truly deserve more chances to smile. Thank you!

Thank you!

-Matthew Welker

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Good Morning Team!

It has been an incredible Summer for us. I realize it has been 4 months since my last update so those of you who don't follow us on facebook might be out of the loop. Here's a rundown of what the CFK heroes have been up to.

In May we visited the CHOI 4 times with various heroes and even a Queen from A Royal Remembrance. We added 2 Heroes to our roster with Venom and Wasp.

June kicked off with St. Jude Day in Long Point, IL. to help benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital. Followed by an appearance with Special Olympics here in Bloomington. Then on June 22nd we traveled to Chicago for a visit to Lurie's Children's Hospital.

July began a visit to Parkside Junior High's Super Hero Summer Camp for kids with Autism. Followed by an appearance at Evergreen Village Summer Carnival. We then partnered with the CHOI Foundation and helped cheer on runners at Detweiller At Dark in Peoria. And the following week did a hospital visit at CHOI.

August has been just as busy! It stared with a partner event with We Rock The Spectrum-Bloomington. From there our heroes headed back to Peoria for Sensory Ignite 2019. And yesterday we joined up with the United Way of McLean County for the Back 2 School Alliance supply handout in Bloomington. And Sunday we will be in Gibson City for Shiner's Kids Day.

Phew! What a Summer it has been. We've added heroes, been to new and old hospitals, partnered with amazing organizations, and delivered hundreds of smiles. All this and we haven't even reached September yet.

This is possible because of the help and support you have given me to grow CFK. I am immensely thankful for the team we have!

That being said I need to take a moment and give another update regarding my daughter Ashton. She has spent her whole Summer at CHOI. At this time we are looking at a 3rd heart surgery two weeks from now. With this being imminent I will be stepping back from CFK events at least until I know more about her circumstances. We still have a few events in the Fall, but not as many as usual. So if we seem slow on events that is why. Thank you all for your support and understanding. I love being able to do what we do and will continue to so long as I can!

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2019 has already been a big year in growing Characters For Kids.

Today was our first trip to the OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois. I was able to get two new volunteers to experience what I get to when visiting these kids. I am excited as they will continue to help build our volunteer roster.

Along with this we have added 3 new female superheroes to our character line-up. These being Black Widow, Captain Marvel, and Mrs. Incredible. We are also working on getting our Tony Stark character rebuilt for the kids.

It's with your help this has become possible. And so long as kids get sick we'll be out there delivering smiles and gifts.

Our next event will be in Bloomington on April 6th partnering with the H.E.A.L foundation on an autism awareness event. So if you are in town please attend and come say hi.

Also I have some exciting news about when we'll be hitting the road again and traveling to 3 new hospitals along with a 9th total state visited!

I can't wait to show you what OUR team is doing for the kids and their families.

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One of the things I wanted to do with Characters For Kids is keep our suits innovative and current. That's why we have multiple suits of our heroes. We also have mulitple volunteers for each hero.

So one of the projects I am working on is a kinetic Black Panther suit. It has a light up helmet along with purple LED's in the suit.

Black Panther has been a character favorite since adding it to our roster. I look forward seeing the smiles the new suit delivers!

Follow our facebook page for more updates
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I wanted to catch everyone up on past and future events the CFK team has been up to.

On Saturday July 21st I used the Civil Warrior suit for the first time. It was for a birthday party for a boy who's a huge Cap fan! I had a great time.

On July 25th myself and 3 others visited the Children's Hospital of Illinois. We met lots of kids, delivering smiles all around.

On Friday August 10th I am making a special visit to the East Tennessee Children's Hospital! I'm excited to do a visit while I'm down here. I am also being brought in to meet a boy battling an inoperable brian tumor. This will make this visit extremely special. If you followed me when we would visit with Conor you know of my heartbreak when I found out the news of his passing. Now to be able to meet a form a relationship with another kid. Its an honor and privilege to be able to do something special for kids like these. I will post more about this on facebook so please follow me there


August 12th I am going to a birthday party for a boy who at one time had cancer and overcame it! What a great day to be able to celebrate with him and his family.

We have a special event planned in Bloomington on Friday August 17th. We have partnered with We Rock the Spectrum for a "Play with the Avengers" event. It's a gym designed for kids with autism or on the Spectrum to be able to enjoy.

There are still more events in the works for September and October.

Last I wanted to let everyone know I am taking pre-orders for a limited run of Characters For Kids Tee Shirts. This are made from ultra-soft cotton. They don't stretch out, get baggy or fad. You'll love them! Please consider ordering and wearing your support for CFK. All the proceeds go back towards this campaign and continuing our effort to grow and reach more kids. The cost is $25 and will cover shipping. This will be a favorite shirt you'll own.

Contact me via facebook or email atCharactersForKids1@gmail.com

Again THANK YOU for all that you have done for me and the families with your time, support, and donations. We have made 1000's of smiles, delivered 100's of gifts, and made tons of memories!
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$4,692 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 84 people in 24 months
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