An Interview With The Hope4Hospital Founders, Kate and Muriel


Arielle Biran

This week, The Banner took a (virtual) seat alongside Kate Ferenchick and Muriel Brosman, two Harriton sophomores, who are the founders of the non-profit, Hope4Hospitals. We engaged in the following dialogue in the hopes of learning more about this organization, its goals, and how we, as members of the Harriton community, can help it thrive.

THB: To start things off, can you talk a little bit about Hope4Hospitals?

Muriel: Hope 4 Hospitals is a volunteer organization that Kate and I started to give back to kids who didn’t have the access to what we had [during our hospital visits].

Kate: Yeah! Just to elaborate, we’ve both had experience at hospitals before, and the things that always cheered us up there were games and toys [. . .] We realized that not all kids have that and we want to change that. First, we’re going to focus locally, in Philadelphia. Eventually, we are hoping to expand nationally as we want to give as many kids access to toys as possible.

THB: What gave you the idea to start a non-profit, and who’s idea was it originally?

Kate: Muriel and I were on FaceTime one night, and I had been wanting to create some sort of organization for a while. I thought it would be a great idea to start my own organization that could help people around us and could connect to something that relates to me. One thing that’s really important to me is my medical issues, so I wanted to give back to the community. I thought, what can we do in these times? Volunteering is restricted, so we thought raising money and giving back to these kids via toys and games would be a great idea.

THB: I know that Hope4Hospitals has 4 pillars or committees: Recruitment, Social Media, Fundraising, and Finance. How does each pillar contribute to forming the organization as a whole?

Muriel: Each pillar contributes in its own way and focuses on one specific element of [Hope4Hospitals], but I think that they’re all intertwined in one way or another. They rely on each other to communicate and ensure that we’re able to help people as much as possible. Regardless of your committee, everyone has the same goal: helping people. I think it is a big contributor to [how we function].

THB: You two have been doing a lot of work recently with promoting yourselves and spreading the word. I think a lot of people in the Harriton community, including myself, were shocked by the fact that you even had Kendall Vertes promoting you! How did you make that happen?

Kate: Someone on our recruitment committee, Isabelle Levy, is friends with Kendall Vertes’ boyfriend, so she reached out to him and told him about [Hope4Hospitals], and he said that it was a great idea. So, he contacted Kendall and she posted it on her story. He actually contacted JoJo Siwa and Kenzie [Ziegler] as well, but they had strict posting schedules to adhere to, so they weren’t allowed to post because of their management. But it was pretty cool that she reached out to them, and we’re so thankful to her for helping get the word out.

THB: So, I know that you guys have a collaboration with Viva Honey Cakes going on right now. Can you tell me more about that?

Kate: We asked Meredith Bacine, head of the fundraising committee, to start reaching out to people and creating collaborations. She started messaging local businesses, Viva Honey Cakes being one of them, and right away they were all for [a collaboration]. It was wonderful! We’re so thankful that they’re here to help us out. They are giving a portion of the cakes they sell to us, which we’re going to use to buy toys, games, and stuffed animals for these kids.

THB: It’s incredible that you’ve had so much growth over the past few days! What are your plans for the future?

Kate: We’re planning within the next month or so to do our first big fundraiser! The fundraising committee has a lot of ideas for fundraisers, such as online cooking classes or online dance classes, so those are definitely in the works. We also want to expand to the national level as soon as we can. I don’t know if that’s possible in the next month or two considering all the logistics, but we do have people reaching out from other states such as New York and New Jersey. So reaching out to people and having them spread the word about us is going to be our main focus for the next month or two, as well as starting our first few fundraisers and donating our first supplies.

Muriel: In terms of the fundraisers, we’re also working really hard to make sure that they’re all COVID safe. Because of this, they’re all going to be online for the time being, just to ensure the complete safety of everyone who participates.

THB: What advice would you give to others who are trying to start their own non-profit organizations?

Kate: I would really just say to follow your passions and follow what you see in your community you want to give back to. We saw in our community that there was a lack of resources for hospitalized children, and we wanted to fix that, and I think that a lot of non-profits come from that same place. So I’d say, find where you want to see growth and seize that opportunity. Also, make sure that you have a lot of supportive people surrounding you! We are so thankful that everyone joining is so supportive. So, make sure to have an idea and goal that you really want to work towards, not just thinking; Oh, this will look good [on a college application], and surround yourself with supportive people.

THB: I also recognize that a lot of the things that you are working towards doing right now are very restricted by COVID. What is Hope4Hospitals going to look like in a post-COVID work?

Muriel: Hopefully, we will be able to continue our donation of toys and raising money, but also go to the hospitals and talk to the patients in person and form real connections with them. We are thinking about trying to do that through Zoom as of now, but post-COVID, we are hoping to go in person and form connections, friendships, and just help the kids as much as we can, in any way we can!

THB: I loved talking to you guys today. Any final remarks?

Kate: Everyone who’s reading this, you should all join Hope 4 Hospitals, because this is pretty cool and we want as much support as possible to expand as far as possible and make as much of an impact as we can. Thank you also, Arielle, for interviewing us!

Muriel: I also want to thank everyone who has signed up so far and those who have helped us!

To learn more about Hope4Hospitals and how you can get involved, visit @hope4hospitals on both Instagram and Tiktok.