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A Children’s Hospital’s Holiday Wish List: Giving to Families in Need

by Maren Kiemen on December 15, 2017 at 8:00 AM


There are many things that bring to mind the holiday season – waiting for the first snow, decorating a Christmas tree, singing along to “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” baking cookies and binge-watching holiday movie specials. Along with the fun and festive cheer of gatherings of friends and family, as the holidays near, many people may feel encouraged to give more generously for the rest of the year.

According to World Visions’s annual Holiday Giving Survey, conducted online by Harris Poll, more than 3 in 5 Americans (63 percent) typically donate to an organization or charitable cause in the last two weeks of the year. A gift of toys, games or activity supplies can especially make a big difference to children and their families spending time in the hospital.

To assist families with a member in the hospital over the holidays, hospitals work with their communities to make a patient’s hospital stay at Christmas time a little easier. Children’s hospitals, such as Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and more accept donations of new, unused items that become part of the holiday experience.

Hospitals’ 8 Most Requested Items for Holidays

  1. Books

Books are a classic gift for those in hospitals. Select titles relevant for infants to teens, and try to choose works in English or Spanish.

  1. Video Games and controllers for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo

Most hospitals request that you only donate games rated T and under.

  1. Infant Sensory Items

Rattles, teething rings, sound soothers and weighted blankets are always needed in the pediatrics department.

  1. Plastic Action Figures

Look for popular characters such as Superheroes, Disney and Pokémon.

  1. Artist Supplies

Sketch books, paint sets and even model kits can be great gifts for older children.

  1. Finger Nail Polish and Remover

Items for teens are often an area of high need for hospitals.

  1. Board Games and Playing Cards

Donations of current games such as Uno, Monopoly and Scattergories make great gifts that the whole family can enjoy during their stay.

  1. LEGO kits

Kits for all ages are always popular items year after year.

Every hospital has their own guidelines for accepting donations, so please contact the hospital of your choice for their guidelines and a list of most-needed items. When donating, also ensure that you deliver the donation unwrapped so that hospitals can review the toy donation for safety.

The end of the year can often be a hectic time of year, but it is important to find moments in the season that bring you joy and joy to others. Happy gift giving this holiday season!

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This post was written by Maren Kiemen

Maren Kiemen is a digital content specialist at Intermedix. She has more than 3 years of experience in content creation for the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Intermedix, Maren served as a digital strategist at the marketing agency 16digital, and held internships with DVL Seigenthaler and Meredith Corporation. Maren earned her bachelor’s degrees in Public Relations and Political Science at Iowa State University.

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