You hear "laughter is the best medicine" all the time, but one organization takes that mantra seriously. Funny Bones Improv is a non-profit organization that brings comedy to sick children in hospitals in Chicago and New Orleans. The healthy dose of humor brings much needed joy to the stressful lives of hospital-bound children and their families and improves patient quality of life like nothing else.
"Comedy is an amazing tool in hospitals. It relieves stress and offers empowerment in a setting where they often have no control." says Jolene Fehler, Founder of Funny Bones.
Once a month, volunteer performers from Funny Bones don their matching shirts and grab the "Wheel of Improv" before heading out to area hospitals. Improv comedy is a perfect vehicle for their show, because it requires no set, costumes or props; only imagination, which their young audiences are bursting with. The show thrives on audience participation. Kids do everything from spin the "Wheel of Improv" to determine the next improv game, suggesting characters and locations, joining the performers on stage* for a scene. *Stage is an abstraction here, since they can perform anywhere from a play area to a patient's room.
For the children, the happy distraction from their condition and the proven medical benefits of laughter leave a lasting positive impact. Countless studies agree.
The experience is almost as powerful for the volunteers as it is for the children and families in need.
"I now understand the whole healing through laughter because every time they laughed, we were laughing... it made me feel great... Not only did we have an impact on them but they had an impact on us, and it was awesome." - Nick Demos, Volunteer
You can follow Funny Bones' activities at www.FunnyBonesImprov.com.