Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart visits patients at Boston Children’s Hospital, hand-delivering Project Sunshine “Creative Arts & Crafts Kits” with Optum executives.

“Having fun is an important part of being a kid – and really important for kids who are facing health challenges,” said Smart. “I am happy to be able to meet these special kids and bring smiles to their faces – and then leave a little something fun to work on later.”More than 1,000 kits were created and assembled at the Feb. 1 Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat game by more than 100 UnitedHealth Group/Optum volunteers and student volunteers from Boston University and Northeastern University. The kits were distributed to children at Boston pediatric hospitals this week.

This “Sending Sunshine” event is one of several programs that Project Sunshine has created to help children be children while they are undergoing medical care. The arts & crafts packages contain educational and entertaining crafts to provide children facing significant medical challenges some much-needed fun.

“We are happy to collaborate with the Celtics and Project Sunshine to bring smiles to children who are experiencing health challenges,” said Lenny Driscoll, Optum’s Executive Client Manager for the State of Mass. “Project Sunshine shares a commitment to building healthy communities and provides a great opportunity to engage our employee volunteers.”

Since beginning its relationship with Project Sunshine in 2010, more than 13,200 United Health Group and Optum volunteers have created more than 63,000 “Creative Arts and Crafts Kits” and more than 18,300 “Sunny Grams” for pediatric patients across the country. These volunteers have supported more than 23,000 children and their families. The Boston Celtics and Optum, a United Health Group company, are committed to work together for the betterment of the greater Boston community through joint-volunteer efforts at schools, hospitals and playgrounds.

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