Nervous about taking your child on a long car or plane ride? Want to keep your kid happy while spending time in a "waiting" room because sitting patiently is a skill they have yet to master? In a pinch, parents know that a shiny new toy can help to keep their little people content in most situations.
You don't want to get in the habit of bribing your kids to manage their behavior. Still, there are times when a treat is more than warranted. One of these occasions is if they find themselves in the hospital.
I reached out to the Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (CHoNJ) to see if Take Care Package could donate some spring bags to bring a smile to their patients' faces while being cooped up in the hospital (not a favorite environment for anyone, especially not a child). Initially, I thought about giving what would bring joy to my son: bubbles, crayons & coloring books, stuffed animals.
Anne Reilly from the Child Life Department at CHoNJ shared that they are expecting to get a lot of similar spring bags, which is great. It sounds like there will be a lot of happy younger children getting a much deserved pick-me-up!
Through Anne, I also learned that there is still an opportunity to donate items that will help comfort infants. Nobody wants to think about an infant having to spend time in the hospital, but it happens. When we spoke, there were 19 infants in the hospital.
Since the plethora of spring bags they'll be receiving are not ideal for infants, Anne suggests donating more suitable items, such as onesies, rattles, board books and crib mirrors. All donations should be new due to infection and allergy considerations, please and thank you! A complete list of donation request can be found here.
Take Care Package will be donating some of our Cozy Baby sets to CHoNJ. To join us, use promo code DONATEBABY to both flag it as a donation for our drive and reduce the cost to $25.
Another big opportunity to make a gift donation, Anne mentioned, is for their (relatively!) older patients. Did you know they accept patients through the age of 21? And sometimes even older if their condition is one of their specialties?
Those patients will likely not be as excited to receive a rattle or a board book. Though perhaps they might still enjoy bubbles, because who doesn't love bubbles?? The list of items that this age group appreciates can also be found here, which includes adult coloring books and colored pencils.
Any donation you can make to the Children's Hospital of New Jersey (or to the children's hospital nearest & dearest to your heart) will send joy where it is needed!