INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — This week on "Pay it Forward," we introduce you to a longtime Riley Hospital for Children volunteer who has been delivering smiles to patients for over 20 years.
If the bright colors and mystical creatures on the outside of a 450-pound wooden cart don’t get your attention, just wait until you see what’s inside.
“If we have a girl, the first thing is bracelets and a ring,” explained Riley Hospital for Children Magic Castle Cart Founder Bob Baxter.
“Then I get into the boy drawer. Some of them like dinosaurs. Most of them do.”
It’s a tradition that Baxter and others from the Kiwanis Club first came up with in 1997 after a realization.
“They were bored, they were ready for some type of entertainment.”
Thus, the Magic Castle Cart was born.
"We started the process, a few of us going out every night after all of the children were through with their procedures."
Twenty-three years later, Baxter is still going strong with some help from volunteers. Together they pass out goodies to dozens of patients a day.
While the patients come and go, some things haven’t changed.
“Smile therapy, that’s what we hand out. Smile therapy sometimes goes a long way in the healing process.”
A process Baxter plans to be a part of as long as he can.
"Several things will bring you back that the parents say like, 'This is the first time my child has smiled all day.' That will bring you back the next day, next week, or next year."
If you’re interested in helping Baxter with this Magic Castle Cart, click here.