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KEYS CORP (aka The KEYS Program)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Cancer, Health, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Patient & Family Support

Mission: The KEYS Program is a 501c3 nonprofit children's charity the delivers music, hope and smiles to kids battling cancer, and those in need of healing, through music outreach, education and advocacy. KEYS provides bedside music, family respite days and sibling support programs .

Results: Since 1993, KEYS has delivered just over 80,000 smiles!

Target demographics: According to recent studies by the American Music Therapy Association, music is a beneficial tool in the treatment of children battling cancer. Music helps to reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy treatments, helps to reduce anxiety in children who are frightened or scared, and children who listen to music during their recovery heal faster than those who do not have music. Music is universal and can help to bring comfort and hope to children of all ages, cultures, languages and backgrounds.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2017 we provided music therapy resources, bedside music, family respite days and siblings support to more than 7,000 kids!

Geographic areas served: The KEYS Program provides its services in New York State and to kids treated in 44 children's hospitals, special needs sites and camps across the US!

Programs: "Where words fail, music speaks."~ Hans Christian Anderson. At KEYS, we experience the power of music every day. Whether singing a silly echo song with a child undergoing chemotherapy treatments, dancing in the halls of the hospital with IV in one hand and tambourine in the other, providing over-the-top fun at our Smile Experience family respite days or playing a lullaby while a child is being rocked to sleep in their parent's arms,...KEYS is there delivering music, comfort, hope and smiles, when words are just not enough.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I have been blessed to be part of several activities that have truly demonstrated the simplified mission statement of “It’s all about the smiles.”  The Smile Experience at the Fulton Quarter Midget Track is one of these activities. From start to finish, this event is so well planned out and implemented by incredible, energetic, smiling volunteers whose obsession, yes that might sound like an odd choice of words, but they are truly obsessed, in a good way, to make sure every family in attendance has a day full of smiles and empty of sickness, hospitals, medical terms and tears.  I have had the honor of being one of the track announcers/interviewers for the past 3 years, so I get to chat with every child that drives and some of the extended family too.  The things they come out with are priceless. This year I one young man said his “angel daddy” was with him on the track and it was comforting to him.  Another young man told me it was his “best day ever.”  A young lady who loves to dance got to bust a move with the local hockey mascot Audie, and she was beaming the whole time! Every year, I drive two hours in the early morning to get there to help set up, I spend all day in the hot sun, and drive two hours home.  And every year, I can’t wait to do it again. I get so caught up in the fun and excitement of the day that I don’t really get a chance to think about what it really means to the families until that drive home, when I think of the days, weeks, months and even years some of them have spent in hospitals, at doctors appointments, facing scary surgeries, and some, even death. To be able to give them one day of nothing but fun and being a family, is truly priceless. One dad summed it up when he told one of the volunteers “Thank you for letting me be 'just a dad' for the day!”