ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando non-profit organization that launched during the middle of the coronavirus pandemic needs the community’s help to spread joy.
Brick Hearts launched on April 1 and its mission is to donate LEGO brick sets to patients who are in the hospital for extended stays.
Brick Hearts Founder Jordan Eichenblatt said he first got the idea in years ago when he was working in Iowa and visited a children’s hospital. “I saw a teenager playing with LEGO and he finished and I thought, oh that’s really cool that he had LEGO and he had something to do while he was in the hospital,” Eichenblatt explained. “But then I thought what about adults, what about kids who want to play with LEGO.”
Eichenblatt said his original plan was to launch the non-profit in March and start collecting donated LEGO sets from the central Florida community. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit his team backed off on its plan to open.
CEO Kerri Mohrman said plans reversed when people started isolating at home. “A lot of people started posting [on social media] about spring cleaning and going through doing house projects. We felt this was a great opportunity to start collecting LEGO bricks.”
Now, the non-profit is asking people to donate their old LEGO sets. Eichenblatt said people can reach out to them on the Brick Hearts website to schedule a donation time using a “driveway drive” donation option. Eichenblatt explained that people will be able to leave the LEGO sets at the end of their driveway and a Brick Hearts team member will drive by and pick them up.
Right now, Brick Hearts has 200 pounds of LEGO bricks that they are sorting by color and then separating into sets that will eventually be given to hospital patients. Eichenblatt said donated LEGO bricks will be quarantined for two weeks where no one will touch them. Brick Hearts will then work with a local cleaning company to wash the toys in the sink while wearing gloves and sanitize them using medical grade cleaning supplies. Eichenblatt said the LEGO sets will be sent out to patients in October when the COVID-19 pandemic has hopefully passed.
Mohrman said Brick Hearts wants to spread inspiration and hope during a time when many people could use it. “LEGO [bricks] are something that we find almost everybody loves no matter what age you are. They give people the opportunity to create something that’s already been made for them or create something out of their imagination.”
To learn more about Brick Hearts visit the Brick Hearts website.