The hospital has been on our minds lately as we've had some friends there over the past few months. Thankfully our friends only stayed for a short time and have fully recovered but I started to think of all the people who don't have family or friends around or who are too sick for visitors and decided that we have got to do something to help. That morphed into making our Happy Helpers playdates this month about Health and making things for patients at Sacred Heart medical center as our service project.
Speaking of Happy Helpers, we have a new second location at Chateau Gardens and will be making more get well cards and crafts there on Wednesday so if you missed the first one or are just really inspired by this post, COME!
Visiting Friends in the Hospital
Visiting people at the hospital can be a great, easy way to do service that's espeically meaningful to those you see! You can bring a little care package to help keep them distracted at the hospital or a simple card or just bring yourself. Just seeing a familiar face can be so comforting!
Anna's best friend was in the hospital right before Christmas so we had to go see her. Being a 2 year old in the hospital sounded miserable so Anna collected some things to help keep her occupied during her stay. She included some books, stuffed animals, cookies, markers and coloring pages, and a festive pillowcase.
The care package was appreciated but I think Anna's presence was even more important. Her friend's mommy said that it was the cheeriest her daughter had been since being admitted.
We also had a family friend admitted to the hospital for a few days right around Valentine's Day. Anna enjoyed making a card for her and visiting her in the hospital.
Some tips for visiting people in the hospital with your kids:
- check with your friend to make sure they're feeling up to having visitors and to find out their room number
- call the hospital for visiting hours and any restrictions for the unit you will be visiting (for example, some request check-in in the lobby or have age requirements for visiting)
- talk to your kid about how people sometimes look and act different when they're sick
- keep the visit short
Get Well Wishes for the Hospital
Even if you don't know anyone at the hospital, you can still help cheer people up with get well cards and small gifts. Your local hospital will usually have policies for well wishes; check with volunteer services for requirements. At Sacred Heart, they request that all items be new (think new stuffed animals) and have no identifying marks (so first names are fine but don't put full names). They suggest that little gift bags for the kids with cards or crayons and coloring pads are especially loved. They send out 1500-2000 food trays each day so get well wishes that can be added to a food tray are very appreciated, and the more the better. Donations can be brought to Volunteer Services on the 2nd floor of the hospital.
At Happy Helpers this month we're coloring get well cards and making butterfly crafts for hospital food trays. Annie, a Happy Helpers volunteer, found the idea for the butterflies and I think they are turning out darling and will be perfect for the trays.
Here's the craft in-progress. Come Wednesday at 3:30pm to Chateau Gardens to help us finish these off and make your own. And we'll have lots of get well cards to color too. Come serve with us!