Chapel Hill native Joey McMahon spent many hours at Duke Children’s Hospital when he was a boy. He and his mother, Robin McMahon, who teaches French at Smith Middle School, would brighten patients’ days by painting the windows with vibrant colors and shapes.
After graduating from East Chapel Hill High School and receiving his bachelor’s at Duke, Joey made the big jump to New York City and got neck-deep in the world of branding.
It wasn’t until the passing of his grandfather on Christmas Eve 2009 that Joey took stock of his life and realized something was missing.
After this “beautiful wake-up call,” he moved back to Chapel Hill and launched the Monday Life (mondaylife.org), a nonprofit that improves the environment in children’s hospitals so that kids can be happier and heal faster. Every Monday, donors can give one dollar that will go toward making a hospitalized child feel better.
“When you get close to a person who’s suffering, literally right next to them,” Joey says, “you have to feel what they feel. That proximity to them brings you sadness, but it also gives you this incredible drive to make their life better.”
The organization brings children everything from pillows to iPads. They also use anddit.com to group fund even more great gifts for kids – plus nurses can request items that would enhance the lives of their patients. (Both Anditt and the Monday Life are sponsored by Durham’s KBI Biopharma.)
“Life is short. So let’s use our time here as best we can – for other people,” Joey says. “After all, Mondays make up one-seventh of our lives.”