Nathan’s Gift is a program that was created in January 2011 by Robert & Sara Smith after the birth of their first child, Nathan.
“We were so happy to have a happy, healthy baby boy,” Sara said, “Robert and I felt so incredibly lucky that we wanted to find a way to give back.”
That’s when they decided that while out on tour, whenever possible, Robert would arrange a free magic show for the kids at local children’s hospitals.
The idea itself had originally been thought of by Robert’s close friend, Chris Enright in 2010.
“Chris and I had talked about the idea but just never got it off the ground,” Robert said. The arrival of Robert & Sara’s son changed all of that.
In April of 2011 the yet to be named program debuted in the Walt Disney Pavilion of the Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida.
“I’ll never forget that show,” Robert said, “The kids laughed. They smiled. And for 30 minutes they weren’t sick.”
The original program at the Florida Hospital was arranged with the help of Child Life Specialist, Meagan Krizek-Fonseca. The day of the show parents had been invited to join their children to enjoy the magic.
“It was great to see all the smiles and laughter from the audience,” Meagan said.
Afterwards, Robert, had a chance to scrub down and visit the children in the oncology unit who weren’t well enough to come to the community room.
“If you want to see true courage, look into the eyes of children. They’re such amazing fighters,” Robert said. “I’d like to hope that if one day Nathan was in a children’s hospital, someone would be willing to give some time to come make him smile.”
After his third visit to the Florida Hospital in April of 2012, Robert & Sara finally decided to make the program official and call it, “Nathan’s Gift.” Any children’s hospital in, or nearby, any location on the tour is eligible to participate in Nathan’s Gift. There is no charge to participate.
Group Show: 25 minutes
Individual room visits may be
made on an as needed basis.
A child life escort is required
for individual room visits.
Florida Hospital for Children
Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Ohio)
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Women’s & Children’s Hospital (Louisiana)
UNM Children’s Hospital (New Mexico)
Carrie Tingley Hospital (New Mexico)
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children’s Hospital Orange County (California)