Brendan Witt had a reputation as being a tough guy during his NHL days, even before he got hit by an SUV and played a game the same night.
And, like many of the tough guys who play hockey, according to Katie Strang, he also had a heart of gold, doing a lot during his playing days for children’s hospitals. Now that he’s retired, the tough guy has turned his attention to finding another way to help sick kids, by making good use of technology, and developing an app:
Witt knew that McGowan’s family, like those of many others, spent long, grueling hours at the hospital. Things could be bleak, and he wanted to think of a way to lift the kids’ spirits. But McGowan reminded Witt that sometimes the physical and emotional toll of medical treatment could leave patients feeling depleted. Even the thought of visitors could be exhausting.
So Brendan and Salima liked the idea of a smartphone app, one where a person could send a piece of mail — a positive message, words of support, a prayer — via customizable angel messenger that a kid could receive on his or her device. Witt wanted something both tangible, to provide comfort, and interactive, to make it personal.
Little did he know that developing an app was no easy process, requiring oodles of experience in technical jargon and computer code. He also didn’t realize the sort of financial investment it would require; Brendan and Salima financed the $12,000 project themselves.
As such, Witt decided to donate part of the proceeds to Children’s National and is using the remainder to further update the app so that it can eventually finance itself, with the next goal to make it available to Android users (it is now accessible for iPhones at the iTunes Store for 99 cents).
To find out more, visit the Angel Mail website.