Giving the gift of happiness

 

Have you ever thought about how scared a child is when riding in an ambulance when they’re hurt? What about when they know they have to stay overnight at the hospital? Worse, when they are in the hospital for weeks and the costs of their medical bills cause a burden to their parents, who are also staying with them?

The following organizations are providing gifts or kits for children in these exact situations.

However, with everything, there are reminders:
– Do buy new items. Most of these items will be going to children whose immune systems are weak. Items need to be new and preferably unopened.
– Don’t buy stuffed animals. Stuffed animals are difficult to store, keep clean, etc.
– Do check the list (twice if you’d like) and coordinate with their donations chair. Sometimes there are restrictions on days or times so shoot them an email or call to make sure.

If donating an item is an option, here are some hospitals and organizations around the Chicagoland area with their requirements and lists of request donations:

Ann & Robert H. Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago: As their website suggests, “Small gifts and prizes are always needed – keeping gifts portable helps us share them with more children in more areas of the hospital. We also list suggestions by age for infants, toddler/preschool, school age and teens.”

Advocate Children’s Hospital: This website has a place to donate money as well as toys and other supplies. Not only in their hospital, they try to provide toys for their outpatient facilities.

Shriners Hospital for Children – Chicag0: This list is not as detailed but they do include specific art supplies for their art therapy, which most programs also have.

Cradles to Crayons: From their website, “Cradles to Crayons creates KidPacks that are hand-selected with care to meet a local boy or girl’s specific needs and wants…Our mission strives to provide every child with the essentials they need to feel valued and we ask you to support us in doing so.”

If donating money to a cause to supply the gift is an option, look at:
Sick Kids Foundation (information unavailable on Charity Navigator): This organization shows different options (and prices) to provide a gift for children and families in the hospital. Although 10% of the donation goes back to the foundation to continue the research of pediatric hospitals, the purchased gifts are given to children at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

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