After more than one year of working with Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center, The Monday Life plans to expand its fundraising efforts to five additional hospitals nationwide.

The Monday Life, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving hospital environments through non-medical activities and services, announced Monday that it will coordinate with children’s hospitals in Colorado, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and North Carolina. Centered on the concept of people donating $1 each Monday, the initiative raised almost $50,000 in its first year at Duke.

“My vision would be to help as many children’s hospitals as possible around the world,” said The Monday LIfe Founder and CEO Joey McMahon, Trinity '09, who is pursuing an MBA at the Fuqua School of Business. “A dollar each Monday is a simple way to do good. Even if people feel like a dollar is not enough, it is.”

The five partner hospitals were strategically chosen to expand The Monday Life’s presence in their respective regions and accelerate its growth, said Chris Mangum, head of public relations and social media.

Activities stimulate patients and help the healing process, Mangum said. The money raised by the organization has supported a summer camp, music and art therapy programs and the distribution of iPads to patients at Duke.

Mangum attributed the success of the organization to the dollar-a-day business model.

“The dollar every Monday, it’s really cool because when we were younger and undergrads, we always thought about donations as higher sums of money…. We thought that we could never do anything like that,” he said. “[But] if you see that it’s a dollar [each week,] more people can think, ‘Oh, I can help.’”

Research shows that kids who go into medical procedures with an understanding of what will happen often have less anxiety and recuperate faster, said Carolyn Schneiders, a certified child life specialist at Duke Children’s Hospital. As the liaison between the child life specialist team and The Monday Life, Schneiders works with the organization to develop its programs.

Schneiders cited iPads as an example, which are used for both distraction therapy and teaching the children about their conditions or diseases.

“We have fun apps for kids to use during procedures like IV sticks or having their blood drawn for labs,” she said. “We also have prep books… that show pictures of what the kids would see in the operating room or [what happens] during their procedure.”

The Monday Life caters to parents as well as children. The nonprofit offers free music therapy and massage therapy for those whose children are undergoing procedures.

“When we take care of the patients, we’re not just caring for that child, but their parents and siblings as well,” Schneiders said. “That’s a way that we can help the parents cope when their child is undergoing a procedure or is in an intense medical situation.”

Elise Goldwasser, undergraduate career advisor and senior internship director at the Sanford School of Public Policy, has experienced the benefits of The Monday Life firsthand. Her 15-year-old daughter Corey, who has cystic fibrosis, is a candidate for a double lung transplant at Duke University Medical Center and spends a significant amount of time in the hospital.

“The new entertainment that The Monday Life has been providing means a lot,” Goldwasser said. “Now that [McMahon] has put his vision into action, and he is reaching so many kids and their families in such tangible ways, I am thrilled.”

In addition to the various therapy options, The Monday Life provided Goldwasser and other parents with egg crate padding for their uncomfortable hospital beds.

Although Corey was moving from the children’s hospital to the Duke University Medical Center as an adult patient when The Monday Life got its start, she said the organization provided patients with wonderful benefits.

“[Before Joey McMahon,] no one had asked me, ‘What can we do for you, as a patient but also as a person, to make you feel more human while here?’ He really understands that we are people first, not just sick kids, not just good deeds to be done,” she wrote in a text message Monday.