To fully understand the entire Boredom Busters history and mission, first you must understand Sasha’s Story. What follows below is an account of the founding of Boredom Busters and the evolution of the organization to present day.
Upon their return to campus in January 2004, Dave Krauss and Charlie Benzyk approached Duke’s Development Office about setting up a fundraiser for Sasha. As word of the fundraiser grew, so too did the ambitions for it. By the end of the semester “The Sasha Burakow Touched By An Angel Memorial Fund” had been established. This Fund was organized as an endowment with the intention of establishing a permanently funded Boredom Busters program at Duke Medical Center in honor of Sasha. What happened next was incredible…
The following year, Sasha’s friends, classmates, and family organized a dynamic 6-week fundraising effort highlighted by a raffle with over 2,000 entrants from across the country. The culminating event was a charity gala hosted by Delta Sigma Phi, which 500 people attended. The incredible effort raised over $20,000. This seed money ensured that The Sasha Burakow Touched By An Angel Memorial Fund and Boredom Busters would be funded at Duke Medical Center for perpetuity.
In April 2006, with many of Sasha’s friends and the McCauley family in attendance, the first donation of 80 Boredom Busters boxes was delivered to Duke Medical Center.
Origins at the Boston Medical Center
“We rely heavily on Boredom Busters for our Child Life needs. If we need to make a purchase, the Boredom Busters account is our only option.”
-Stephanie Sharp, Child Life Specialist, BMC
In early 2010, Dave Krauss and Charlie Benzyk contacted a number of Boston hospitals to inquire about their need for toys and games. They intended to identify the local hospital with the greatest need to receive a small donation. After speaking with the Development Office at the Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA (BMC) the search was over. The hospital’s budget tightening a year earlier meant that funds for kid’s toys and entertainment had been eliminated.
A few months later, in March 2010, the first “Fun-Raising Fund-Raiser” to benefit the Boston Medical Center raised over $3,000. The timely delivery of these funds provided the BMC’s Child Life Specialists with resources for the upcoming year. Since that first donation, Boredom Busters has grown leaps and bounds. Now, as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit, Boredom Busters has continued to supply the BMC’s Child Life Specialists with funds for all of their boredom busting needs.
Since 2010, the Boredom Busters and Boston Medical Center’s partnership has grown steadily every year. Proceeds from the annual Fun-Raising Fund-Raiser combined with funds from other fundraisers, sponsorships and private donations continue to help the Child Life Specialists at the Boston Medical Center provide “exceptional care, without exception” to each pediatric patient that comes through their doors.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. You cannot imagine how much it helps. I wish you could actually see the kids playing with them. The toys and games help to keep the kids happy and helps them get better quicker.”
-Kathleen Walz, Nurse, BMC
For more information on how to support Boredom Busters, please click here.
For more information on current Boredom Busters programs, please click here.