Mason H. ‘24 started volunteering with the Children’s Dream Fund when he was 13 years old, after his older brother had recovered from a liver transplant. And, in the past four years, he’s discovered how passionate he is about helping kids in need.
Mason, who is a baseball player, is working with the Tampa Prep baseball team to collect pledges in a JV and Varsity Hit-A-Thon to raise money for the Children’s Dream Fund to send Colton, a local 12-year-old boy who has been battling leukemia, and his family on a cruise.
Q: “How did you get involved with the Children’s Dream Fund?”
Mason: “When my brother was eight months old, he had to have a liver transplant. So, up until a few years ago, he was in the hospital for most of his life, like more than 100 days a year. Growing up, whenever my brother wasn’t home, I always just knew that he was in the hospital. My family had worked with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and because of my brother, my mom got a job with the Children’s Dream Fund. I started volunteering because I can really relate to kids who are dealing with life threatening illnesses. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”
Q: “Tell us about that experience.”
Mason: “The first time I got to do a Dream, I went to deliver a puppy to a child. After that, I painted houses as part of bedroom makeovers, went to different events and spent the day with kids at Busch Gardens, Rowdies soccer games…I was able to see how good it makes you feel and I just really wanted to keep doing more.”
Q: “What part of this experience stands out to you?”
Mason: “What stands out the most is just how positive and happy the kids are, even with all the trauma that they’ve been through. They’re always filled with joy. And, it’s an amazing feeling to be able to spend time with them. Honestly, they affect me more than I affect them. Their joy brings me so much joy.”
Q: “What are your future plans?”
Mason: “I want to go to college in the south and maybe play baseball. I definitely want to keep helping children in need. Specifically, granting wishes. I’ve realized that this is a part of me and I want to keep doing it.”
Q: “How is Tampa Prep helping?”
Mason: “This is my first year at Tampa Prep and right away I saw how all the students are so motivated and there are so many ways to get involved and to be able to lead. I had heard about Colton, because he’s a baseball player, and had the idea to reach out to Coach Hendrix, to ask if our baseball team could help raise money to provide a wish for Colton. Coach Hendrix was so excited to jump right in and help. I feel like at Tampa Prep, we can make anything happen.”
The JV and Varsity Hit-A-Thon to raise money for Colton is this Friday, February 17 and their fundraising goal is $5,000. For more information, or to get involved, click here. To learn more about the Children's Dream Fund, click here.