The Little Saint Nick Foundation (LSNF), a registered 501C3 non-profit organization, mission is to create a positive mentality for kids in crisis through the compassionate power of a helping hand. We deliver smiles to these kids by connecting them with kids in local communities that are inspired to give back. Through our promise of “Kids Inspiring and Helping Kids”TM, the Little Saint Nick Foundation strives to lift kids up and realize their full potential.
Years ago at LSNF, we stumbled upon something so simple and impactful it almost seemed magical – the power of a helping hand, particularly when it’s kids helping kids. And since then, we’ve seen this playout, over and over again. When a young child finds themselves in an unfamiliar and somewhat scary situation, like a children’s hospital, fear and anxiety can naturally set in. Yet, when presented with a supportive ally, particularly from another child, there is this transformative moment when the expression on the child’s face turns from fear to a smile. It’s magical, happy and healing. Their world changes from one of uncertainty to the confidence of knowing I have an army of other kids on my side. And for those children who are giving their time and effort to help kids in need of a smile, they experience the gift of giving, another magical and character-building moment that grows from the selfless act of giving.
Our immediate focus has been on hospitals where we have had considerable success changing the fortunes of patients, partners and participants. With our young patients, the benefits are most pronounced helping to ease the anxiety that comes from being in a hospital. For our hospital partners, we’ve seen dramatic improvements in care-giver experience, employee satisfaction and community goodwill. And finally, for the kids and their parents who give their time and extend a helping hand to kids in need of a smile, we’ve seen young kids walk away from the experience both fulfilled and inspired to continue to be community service minded and lend a helping hand to those in need of a smile.
Today, our goal is to carry out our founder's giving passion by having kids of all ages giving back to those in need of a smile. We center our impact in communities by providing simple, anti-anxiety gift bags that contain items such as a coloring book, crayons, stuffed animal, and a handmade get-well card made by kids, for kids. These gift bags have an everyday impact by providing a positive distraction for patients, improving hospital employee morale, and empowering kids of all ages in communities to become future leaders. With our current resources, we inspire and help over 300 people in communities and hospitals every day of the year, spreading our movement of “Kids Inspiring and Helping Kids”TM. LSNF seeks to expand our impact in the communities we serve by establishing two-way partnerships with hospitals, businesses, and youth groups. Our goal is to serve more kids in hospitals while empowering kids in communities to give back. Every $10 packs a gift bag for one kid in the hospital. This also provides an outlet for one kid volunteer to pack a gift bag and hand write a get-well card.
The Little Saint Nick Foundation (LSNF) was founded in 2004 by Raymond Mohler, Jr. at age six. Ray suffered from Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) a rare childhood hip disorder found mostly in children between the ages of four to six years old that is initiated by the temporary disruption of blood flow to the femur. Feeling fortunate that he did not have a life-threatening nor permanent disease, but rather one that is treatable and fully recoverable, Ray decided he needed to give back to the kids whom he left behind at the hospital who were not as fortunate as he was. Ray’s mission – even at his young age – was to help relieve the fear, anxiety and isolation experienced by children related to the child’s hospital visit and recovery.
Over the past 18 years, Ray has become a well-respected youth philanthropist. Ray and LSNF have developed many anxiety-relief programs in conjunction with pediatric hospitals and has successfully changed how kids experience their hospital visits, serving over two million kids. Ray graduated from the University of Tampa in 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship. Ray’s goal is to scale the LSNF mission to all 50 states while maintaining that local feel of kids helping kids.
Ray has developed programs to relieve the fear, anxiety and isolation related to hospitalization. Some of these programs include an emergency department gift bag program, mobile entertainment centers, wish granting, and hospital parties– all centered upon improving the lives of hospitalized kids in need of a smile.
Going from serving hospitalized kids to speaking in front of school children, Ray has sparked a national movement in the name community service. The stated promise of the LSNF is “Kids Inspiring and Helping Kids”TM. Under this promise, LSNF emphasizes providing vital emotional support to kids experiencing the anxiety of hospitalization. Guided by Ray’s leadership and its board of directors and advisors, the LSNF has inspired thousands of kids from across the country to take up the mantle of serving the greater good, creating a national youth movement never seen before.