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McGinnis brings musical healing to little ears

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Riley McGinnis jokes and says he’s just a kid at heart, but truth be known, he really is. McGinnis, a junior at Huntington High School, says his love for children is what draws him to volunteer and raise funds for the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital (HFCH) at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

“I love kids and really enjoy volunteering at the hospital,” said McGinnis. “I started volunteering more than two years ago and find myself wanting to do more and more, mainly because I see how little lives are changed there.”

McGinnis said that when a family friend’s daughter was admitted to HFCH, he got his first glimpse of the passion and care that is administered. Since that time, he has volunteered hundreds of hours of his personal time in the pediatric units.

“I am one of four kids, so I have spent a lot of time babysitting, but when I’m in the hospital and spend time with the kids, it’s almost magical to see their faces light up,” he said.

This year, McGinnis, his brother Max and a saxophone quartet will be doing more than just visiting; they will be playing music and collecting donations for HFCH construction.

“I play trumpet and my brother plays baritone sax. We love to play music. We asked some of our friends to join us, and we formed a small group that will be playing in the lobby of the hospital for donations,” said McGinnis.

During the holidays, the musical group plans to do more with their talents and play Christmas carols for the children on the units.

“Donating is more than collecting money or giving time. It is also about doing something for others without asking for anything in return,” he said. “That’s what we want to accomplish by playing music for the kids.”

McGinnis has also coordinated with other musicians to entertain and collect donations in the future.