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Pickleberry Pie Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cancer, Health, Music, Patient & Family Support, Radio

Mission: We use the power of music to educate, entertain, and heal kids around the world.

Results: 1) For thirteen years, we have provided free monthly concerts for seriously ill children in 23 hospitals and one hospice nationwide. 2) We created the world's first commercial-free network of webcast children's channels. Kids Public Radio has three 24/7 channels to date, and thousands of listeners worldwide. 3. We have done this all with no administrative, development, or overhead costs. We are primarily a volunteer organization.

Target demographics: Hospital concert series: children in the US with serious illnesses and disabilitiesKids Public Radio: kids and families worldwideChildren's Music Web: kids and families worldwide

Direct beneficiaries per year: tens of thousands of children in hospitals

Geographic areas served: national and international

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Pickleberry Pie facilitates magic. Bringing live music to families in children's hospitals can make an obvious positive impact on everyone in the room. I have been making music for Picklberry Pie in hospitals around Chicago for years and feel blessed with the opportunity to make a difference!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a recipient of support from Pickleberry Pie we have been more than satisfied with the performers that they have provided. Recently we had a wonderful group! During their visit, we had a full house and the patients, siblings, and parents really enjoyed it. Thank you so much Pickleberry Pie for sending wonderful musicians our way. We appreciate you bringing the fun and healing power of music to the our facility.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I've only been involved with Pickleberry Pie (PBP) for a short time, my experiences have been quite positive. My started out by entertaining one of the wonderful groups supported by PBP. It is heart warming for me to interact with the children as they sing, dance and act silly during my performance. With great joy, that evolved into my volunteering to help out with administrative work. The people I have worked with at PBP are both personable, inspiring and committed to the organization's mission. I hope to continue my association with Pickleberry Pie for quite some time.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We here at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago cannot speak highly enough of Pickleberry Pie. Monthly, this organization sends us a musician to enter our patients, families and staff. They begin by playing in our outpatient clinics for our families that are waiting for appointments, or entertain the constant flow of people throughout the lobby. The musician then joins us for our Morning Jam with Jim show which is broadcast live on our closed-circuit TV network, Skylight TV. There is a rotation of musicians each month and every single one of them is professional, talented, engaging, and passionate. It is truly a one-of-a-kind program and helps to make a difference in our hospitalizes families' stay.

Larry30

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a singer / songwriter and love to perform for the children. At a recent performance I ended with the Beatles, "All You Need is Love". It was a special needs school and the children were wonderful and you could see in their own way they were soaking in the tunes. As I was taking down my gear I head a little voice in the back sing "all you need is love". It was a tender moment for me and validated why I love Pickleberry Pie. Thank you Irene Light for allowing me to entertain the kids. I look forward to each performance and each one has special memories that I will not soon forget. Love Always, Guitar Larry

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a performing songwriter and have had the good fortune to have been associated with PJ Swift and the Pickleberry team of volunteers for more than 20 years. One of the Pickleberry volunteers, Irene Light coordinated a number of concerts and hospital visits for me in the DC and VA areas this November, for which I am most grateful. Not only are the volunteers passionate about what they do, they also provide an invaluable service to many children who are hurting or in need. I am thrilled to be part of this great non-profit organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am musician that has had the pleasure of working in 4 different Children's hospitals in the Chicago area through Pickleberry Pie. I've seen firsthand how a little respite from the constant focus of illness can lift the spirits of not only the patient, but the whole family of the patient. It has been wonderful to work with Pickleberry Pie!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I a singer/songwriter, storyteller and writer for young people. I have worked for Pickleberry Pie this past year in two children's hospitals in Los Angeles. It is a wonderful organization that brings entertainers into children's wards and hospitals. They are very professional and a pleasure to work with. I like it that they care enough about the children to make sure, when you go into the hospital, that you do not refer to the children's illness and that you stay sensitive to performing material that is uplifting and in no way reminds the children of their condition. Music, songs, stories, magic, all the performing arts are healing and uplifting. It is a real credit to PJ swift and Pickleberry Pie that they recognize this and have made it possible for so many children nation-wide to have live entertainment while they are in hospital. It is so important. THANK YOU.

fred-karam

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pickleberry Pie Inc is by far the very best volunteer organization that I have ever had the pleasure of working with...Their primary focus is always to provide good and, most importantly, fun entertainment for the children...

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These last several years, I have had the privilege of playing music for the children, sometimes along with their parents, at various facilities in the D.C. and Baltimore area. These children just want to be able to smile and music is the common language that reaches them...Without the never-ending support of Pickleberry Pie Inc., much of this would not have been possible. Today's economic situation is making it increasingly difficult to find funding, but the demand is also greater, and perhaps more important, than ever.

joanietonesforpickleberries

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a singer/songwriter/performer for children and worked with Pickleberry Pie Very Special Concert Series for several years in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (I now live in New Zealand).
I am not sure who it benefits the most: the young patients, their parents and families, the staff or me!
All I know is that the "playroom" is suddenly filled with smiles and singing and sometimes even dancing! The children and adults keep rhythm with shakers and sticks (which are left behind for the children to keep). The joy is "infectious" and pain, fear and stress seem to miraculously disappear (at least temporarily).
And for those who could not make it to the playroom, I visited individual rooms afterwards and I can't tell you how rewarding it is to watch a child who is bedridden forget their troubles for a while through the healing power of music or being read a story. And how many times have been told by a parent what a relief it is to see their little one smile and sing?! Pickleberry Pie is a godsend.

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Kids Public Radio several years ago as a children's artist and when I heard of the Pickleberry Pie Very Special Concerts Series (artists performing in hospitals) I was eager to get involved as I was aware of the healing effects of music on young hospital patients, their families and the hospital staff. I have been with The Very Special Concert Series in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles for over five years now and can testify firsthand to the powerful and joyful effects these "musical" visits have on the children, bringing smiles and laughter and a sense of fun and comfort to what is often for them a painful and scary situation. Kids Public Radio also brings sunshine and smiles into the lives of many families, without commericals!

Turley

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with Pickleberry Pie for several years and value their professionalism in coordinating my hospital visits and hospitals tell me how pleased they are working with Pickleberry Pie too.

My visits amuse parents and hospital staff as I transform children into magical performers. Children love prizes and I bring plenty that are perfect for everyone from toddlers to teens so the fun continues after I've gone. I remember one smiling 7-year-old boy said something seldom heard from children in the hospital. He turned to his mom and said, "I don't want to go home."

1 idlight

Advisor

Rating: 5

I live vicariously through the performances given at the East Coast Pickleberry Pie hospitals and special needs schools. Over the past eight years, entertainers have been sending me glowing feedback about the happiness they have created during their shows and bedside visits.

I get to see the photos that have been taken with physically challenged kids "dancing" in their wheelchairs; the child who keeps practicing the magic tricks taught to her by one of our devoted magicians and the girl who "needed" one of our performers to be there for her after surgery and during recovery from her chemo treatment. Of course he came!

These are the types of performers we have.....ones with talent, creativity and heart.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's an incredibly satisfying feeling to share music with hospital kids, to see the room transform into an almost magical place, where ailments are forgotten and the pure spirit of the children is honored and celebrated. We bring shakers, rhythm sticks, kazoos, and bells to help make a bigger band, and even the nurses, doctors, and cleaning staff join the families in singing and playing. I believe it's therapeutic. The Child Life staff has told me many stories about how a Pickleberry Pie performer was a catalyst for real change for the better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been playing in hospitals and special needs classrooms on behalf of Pickleberry Pie for about 5 years. Not only is the positive effect of our performances visible in the smiles of the children for whom we play, but also in the eyes of their families and even hospital care-givers. In fact, our regional hospital in Santa Barbara, CA (Cottage Hospital) just asked us to double the number of performances each month.

I'm incredibly proud to be an in-room representative of Pickleberry Pie and to bring all those smiles to hospitalized children and their families.

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have participated in Pickleberry Pie hospital concerts for 3 years in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA. We also include 2 special education classes in Santa Barbara. This program positively affects not just the children in hospitals and special education classrooms, but entire families, hospital workers, and aides, as well. In situations of sadness, grief, fear, frustration, and exhaustion, the Pickleberry Pie team of musicians brings joy, humor, and personal connection to those in need.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I teach in a public school which serves students with severe diasabilites. Pickleberry Pie provides professional, high quality performing arts to our students who would otherwise never get a chance to experience the awe and wonder of a live show! The top notch performers tailor their acts to our special population, and are unfazed by their challenging behaviors. We love Pickleberry Pie!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began performing for children in Bay Area hospitals last year through Pickleberry Pie. The first thing I realized is how "golden" Pickleberry Pie is with the staffs at the different hospitals. The nurses and other staff members see the positive effects the performers have on the children and their families and no price can be put on that. In fact, their is no price as the hospitals pay nothing for this wonderful service. As a paramedic for the past 25 years and as a children's music performer, I have never experienced the appreciation for what I do more than when performing for sick children. I can't help but choke up myself when mother's start crying out of gratitude when my band comes in and starts performing for their child. My hope is to see Pickleberry Pie expand and be able to serve every children's hospital and pediatric ward across the country.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pickleberry Pie makes a difference to the lives of children who are sick and need a lift. I have seen smiles and yes even laughter from sick kids. What moves me the most is when they start singing. I am proud of my affliation with Pickleberry Pie.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hats off to Pickleberry Pie for their wonderful efforts in reaching out to kids in hospitals and special learning centers. Cathy & Marcy enjoyed several performances and workshops and recommend the program! www.cathymarcy.com

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Pickleberry Pie performer, I have found the most important thing we do is bring a little joy in the lives of very young hospital patients... and their parents. The parents are always so very grateful that an otherwise dreary day has been lit by a golden glow as their child smiles, claps, and sometimes sings along, too. During bedside visits, both the child and his or her parents gets to forget for just a little while the stress of a hospitalization as we share together the joy of music. For tiny children, I bring puppets, shakers, bells. For older children, I give a very cool instant guitar lesson. Perhaps most memorable was a recent visit to a family whose two children (ages 1 and 2) were both spending their birthday in the hospital. How wonderful that Pickleberry Pie made it possible for these children to have a special birthday concert! I hope Pickleberry Pie will be able to bring the joy of music to sick children in many, many more pediatric wards throughout the nation.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Imagine you have a child being hospitalized with a serious illness. Wouldn't you want to do whatever possible to provide an uplifting experience to help alleviate the frightening set of circumstances with which your child is dealing? The Pickleberry Pie hospital project is doing just that by making quality music and story videos available on demand for children who are hospitalized. For 23 years this public charity has expanded its reach to 22 hospitals nationwide serving about40,000 children and their families yearly. Pickleberry Pie is an all volunteer organization with no paid administrator, no paid director, no overhead, or development costs. All funds raised suppport the kids directly. Everything Pickleberry Pie does is for free so that there is no charge for concerts, webcast, or other activities. There are 3 free webcast audio channels worldwide on the internet, all free of commercials. In addition to providing programs for hospitals Pickleberry Pie has programs for elementary schools teaching students songwriting and providing a radio channel where kids can do their own radio shows. The Pickleberry Pie hospital project will soon be made available to for the GetWellNetwork hospitals across the country. My colleague, Irene Light, has worked tirelessly to gain access to quality videos and DVD's for the program. I am a member of the Review Committee for Pickleberry Pie and have the difficult task of helping Irene choose the best videos possible for hospitalized children. All the videos Irene forwards to me are superb in the quality of the music and accompanying graphics. My job on the Review Committee would be easy if I could select every video Irene sends me, but on the other hand, it's good to know Irene has access to so much excellent material ,and all the choices I make will be good ones.