If you’re a kid experiencing an extended stay in the hospital, it’s nice to have a companion pop into your life. An organization called POPS! for Patients is making that happen in the form of donated Funko Pop! figures. Since August of 2016, they’ve donated almost 10,000 figures to kids in the U.S and other countries, and it just keeps growing.
For their innovative and charitable efforts, Randy Lee and Krysten Barrera, founders of POPS! For Patients are 2018 inductees of the Pop Culture Hall of Fame.
Both Lee and Barrera saw their own children struggle during extended hospital stays in recent years. “We both personally know how sad it is to be stuck in the hospital, so we decided to give back and bring joy to kids in the form of POPS!” he said.
Lee was an avid collector of Pop! toys for himself, but now sees this cause as his new passion. “I had been collecting them for a few years but recently slowed down significantly,” he said. “I needed to focus on having the necessary funds required to attend all of the shows and events we are being invited to lately. It’s been a trade-off I’m happy to make!”
There are many ways people can help out. Anyone can send child-friendly POP! donations to the address on their website (popsforpatients.org) or their media channels (@popsforpatients). Lee also suggests “Or reach out, form a team in your area, and help your own local hospital.” Some companies have partnered with POPS! For Patents by channeling part of their Funko toy sales proceeds to the cause. Their website includes details on all the ways to help. The P4P team also encourages you to get involved and support your own local Children’s Hospital.
“We couldn’t do this without our volunteers and generous donors,” Lee said. “We’re a passionate, positive, and confident example of a “little engine that could” so please jump on board as we embark into year 3 of the #P4PWorldwide movement!