Volunteer and Bring Magic to Kids at Their Hospital Bedsides
“You walk into the hospital room of a 6 year old boy who has a shaved head with multiple scars – some new, some ‘old’ and he’s seen every trick you have because he’s been in and out of the hospital more times than any 6 year old should be. He looks at you, recognizes that you’re an OHM magician, requests a specific favorite trick and then says, ‘I want to be a magician when I grow up.’ This small child who knows being sick as a way of life has the unwavering belief that he’ll grow up and when he does he wants to be a magician. That is why you volunteer with Open Heart Magic.” – OHM Hospital Magician Christine Gravel Lippoldt
Open Heart Magic (OHM) is a nonprofit organization that brings the joy of magic to sick kids in hospitals. As a volunteer Hospital Magician, you’ll bring laughter and wonder to kids who need it most…vulnerable, scared kids undergoing medical treatment. You’ll take their minds off their fears and – most important – help them feel empowered. OHM is currently recruiting for top-notch folks to join our awesome community of volunteers and bring more magic to sick kids.
Quite possibly, the best place to volunteer in Chicago
Our Hospital Magicians tell us that their hospital visits are the best part of their week. They say that – after a visit – they walk away energized and inspired knowing that they were able to provide such a powerful experience for these kids. As a Hospital Magician, not only will you perform magic one-on-one at kids’ bedsides, you’ll also empower them by teaching them a magic trick. It’s not uncommon for our Hospital Magician’s to hear from a parent or nurse that, because of the magic, it was the first time the kid smiled or laughed all day.
No Need to Know Magic
You don’t need to know magic to be a Hospital Magician. You just need to be committed to learning the magic techniques that we will teach you. Magic University consists of in-class training one evening a week for 12 weeks, plus practice on your own. The magic routines taught are professional level, extremely visual and astonishing, yet they can be learned in a shorter time due to our experienced magician trainers, all who are active Hospital Magicians.
Not Your Typical Magicians
We are not child party magicians or clowns wearing funny outfits. To build rapport and make kids laugh, we often use self-deprecating humor. If you are not able to laugh at yourself or do not have a sense of humor, please do not apply.
TIMES OF SERVICE/HOSPITAL LOCATIONS: Hospital Magicians visit kids every other week, with hospital visits lasting approximately 120 – 150 minutes. Other criteria we are currently recruiting for includes:
- Availability on Saturday or Sunday mornings/afternoons.
- Select slots on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
- Volunteer placement at hospitals in Downtown Chicago, Oak Lawn (Advocate Children’s), Park Ridge (Advocate Children’s), Hoffman Estates (Alexian Women’s & Children’s), Hyde Park (U. of Chicago Comer).
If you travel often or have an unpredictable schedule, please do not apply.
TRAINING LOCATIONS AND TIMES: Magic University is held twice a year and recruitment for these limited spots is year-round. Magic U training sessions last two-hours and are held weekly on Monday’s at 6:00 PM. The location of Magic U will be downtown near public transportation and the Metra station.
- Weekend flexibility
- Dedicated, high energy, fun, outgoing individuals with a sense of humor,
- Sensitivity and social skills to work with kids and families who are going through a difficult time.
- Performance experience in the arts, magic, comedy, teaching, public presentation, business facilitation or any similar activity is highly regarded.
- Previous experience in volunteering is highly regarded.
- An interest in learning magic, as this art requires dedication to learn and practice skills.
Your commitment to learning to become a Hospital Magician and to being present at all scheduled service times is paramount.
These kids will be depending on you to come and do magic. A commitment of at least one year of service is required
Due to the sensitive nature of the service Open Heart Magic provides, hospital requirements, and that we occasionally utilize free community space for special training sessions provided by establishments that serve alcohol, applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
Thank you for your good intent and desire to help.
We look forward to speaking with you. We only have a limited number of Hospital Magician volunteer positions and they go quickly, so it’s best to apply early.
For further questions about becoming a Hospital Magician volunteer, please call the office at 312-624-8079.