Characters for Kids

$2,550 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 10 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. Eventually I would like to recruit others to join me in the visits so that group characters could be present. Additionally, I would 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. It is my hopes that I’m able to expand the character visits to children’s hospitals in the Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis areas.

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

+ Read More
Hi Team,

I wanted to share a quick update of what I have been up to in the past 3 weeks.

On June 8th I visited Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, KY. I was able to visit with around 10 kids in all. While that may seem a bit low compared to normal it's great because that less kids in the hospital and that always a plus.

Tuesday of this week David Vale and I visited Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago for the first time. We were able to interact with many kids and gave out plenty of comics, coloring books, and gifts. It was a great visit and we intend to travel back most likely in August when my Iron Man and Civil Warrior suits are completed.

I am currently in the works with We Rock the Spectrum in Normal, Illinois. Stay tuned for the details on that.

It has been a great Summer so far and we're just getting started! Thanks for all you have done and the support you continue to show. This wouldnt be possible without a team and we have a great one!

Be sure you like and follow us on Facebook at Characters For Kids to see all the pictures and know about upcoming events.
+ Read More
To all the people who have supported Characters For Kids with their time and money I have a huge announcement!

I just purchased 3 new suits that will be ready for action this July!

Thank you so much for all you have done since I started this campaign. With the amazing support you have given me we have brought these 7 characters to life for the kids. We have delivered over 100+ gifts to children. Made close to 50 "Honorary Avengers", Brought 1000's of smiles to people. And most importantly given these kids an experience they deserve.

I honestly can't thank you all enough for being part of Characters For Kids. Many of you don't get to see the faces of the kids we meet. But if you could you would know exactly why I do this. I have made so many memories over the past year I will always look back on. It's all possible to the people who supported this from the beginning.

This July we are traveling to Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital and possibly to Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington, KY. I am also in talks with hospitals in 3 other states. It is my mission to make as many kids who are battling illness have an something to smile about.

We have come along way in a little less then a year, but I guarantee Characters For Kids is just getting started!
2018 Black Panther
Thor (Infinity War)
IronMan Mark VII
+ Read More
I can't believe it has been 7 months since this campaign started. Since then we have raised over $2000, but more importantly delivered gifts and smiles to easily over 100 children battling pediatric cancer and other various illness.
Your generosity has been felt not only by myself, but in the families of the kids we visit. I get thanked by the families with each visit, but the thanks should go to you as well for helping me with this campaign.
With all that being said we are just getting started in central Illinois. I just completed the application and hope to visiting the Chicago area in the coming month or two. I am in talks with hospitals in Indiana and Iowa as well. I want Characters for Kids to become a staple program for Child Life Services in these hospitals. And things are looking good for this to happen.
Wednesday I did another visit to Peoria with 2 additonal characters. I will be posting pictures to the facebook. It was a great visit and we even had some special visitors from Jacksonville Fl. I'll be posting more about that later.
Thanks again for what all you have done. Please keep sharing this campaign with others and continue to help us grow!
+ Read More
December Update:

Hi Everyone,

I thought now would be a great time to post about my latest visit to the Children's Hospital of Illinois on December 6th. So this was the first time I went as Marshall from Paw Patrol. It was a great visit! I was able to take lots of pictures with kids and adults alike, so I'd say the suit was a definite hit!

The only thing I had a hard time with is the overall visibility. Due to the view coming from the mouth opening. I have to keep my face pointed towards to ground in order to have the eyes pointed at the kids. So I wasn't really able to enjoy their reactions upon seeing them. I could tell by the excitement in everyone's voices though, they loved it. I was smiling from the inside of the suit .

One of my goals for the next visit is to hand out cards to the parent's and families to send me any pictures from visits. Then I could see more then 1 or 2 pictures. I don't get to see 90% of what we end up taking. I have to search facebook or instagram hoping to find them.

I would really like for this to become a way to develop relationships with the families just like I have with Conor (who I was able to wave at on Wednesday). By doing this I could provide special gifts for the kids as well as in home visits like Conor's birthday. I want this campaign to not just be a one-off visit but a community.

I will post a picture a few pictures of my visit and will add more if I receive them. Thank you to all who have invested their time, support, and money to this campaign. I would never have been able to bring more characters to the kids if not for your efforts. For that I am truly grateful.

I will be heading back twice in January the 10th and 31st as Spider-man and Captain America. I will for sure get some pictures and possibly a video from those visits! I will keep you all posted.

+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$2,550 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 10 months
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Rebecca Africano
1 day ago
Tom Welker
27 days ago
Rebecca Africano
1 month ago
Michelle Zeller
1 month ago
Kimberly Carthans
1 month ago
katrina Hennessey
2 months ago
ss ss
3 months ago
albert Metta
3 months ago
3 months ago
Obryant Jennings
3 months ago
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.