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Care package for family in the hospital
childlike_faith wrote in parenting101


A friend of mine's four year old son was unexpectedly diagnosed with leukemia over the weekend. They live out of state and we aren't super close, but the mom's group we met through is sending a care package next week and I'm not sure what to include. I plan on a nice card, my son has painted her son a picture and I think I'm going to grab a little dinosaur toy or some cars or  something like that to send, but what else could I send that would be appreciated?

Is there anything I can't send? (That might not be safe for him to have while undergoing chemotherapy or something like that). I was thinking gift cards to go out to eat but we're beyond broke and I know she has food allergies and they tend to cook at home most of the time for that reason. Any other ideas for little toys that might keep him occupied? My son is almost 4 and I know that things like crayons and paper only keep him entertained for about 5 minutes so I was hoping for a little more than that.

I pray none of you were ever in this situation, but if you were, what would you have appreciated other than kind words and prayers?
Thank you so much!



I would say toys that focus on his interests. My son does not care about stuffed animals. But he LOVES his stuffed Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars 2. Toys that interest him that are not super tiny, but small enough they can be packed to bring to the hospital and entertain him during chemo/hospital visits/etc.

Make sure whatever you send can be easily sterilized, chemo drops immune systems to nil so toys that hold germs are banned (my church group donates to Primary Children's Hospital and those are the guidelines they gave us.) Books, cars, etc...

My daughter had surgery last year when she was 3 and things she could do while hanging out in bed were nice. While it's not the same as chemo, something such as a new movie, stickers, those color wonder markers, and play-doh were good at keeping her busy. Along the same lines as stickers, those foam stickers you can get at Michael's or other craft stores she really loves.

gift cards for gas and groceries are very helpful. I will include a link to a blog that I read and if you go back and read thru is you will get all kinds of ideas of what this family needed while there child was in hospital and going back and fourth.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate

go back to the beginning of this journal and scroll thru, you will find lots of info on things they needed and now things they collect for other families around the holidays..

A little girl at our church was recently diagnosed with leukemia. She's pretty much been in the hospital since then, it's been really rough. Her parents said craft kits and stickers were super great, she loved getting cards or pictures from friends, and liked having visitors (quick visits). For foods: fresh produce needed to be organic. No deli meats or things that have live bacteria in them, like blue cheese. She really liked berries and grapes, but now is on a feeding tube of formula. Her parents appreciated gas cards and grocery store gift cards. We also arranged to have meals taken to them, or easy foods to eat while driving back and forth to the hospital, or at the hospital. Muffins, cut and washed veggies, cheese slices and crackers, that sort of thing.

Bubbles, stickers, playdough?

I would try to go for a washable, stuffed something, that is cozy and not bulky, like s small, flat fish-shaped miniature pillow or something that fits his interests (actually very easy to take cut-outs from a nice coloured towel, fill it with some filling stuff or fabric, or don't fill it at all, and sew it close by hand - my sister gave me those, double layered wash cloths in animal form without filling). It could be something like a "lucky starfish" to help him heal or something maybe?

Of course mist_stalker is right... I'm not sure how they are about stuffed toys, or something like a wash cloth animal, but as the later would be washed after use, I think they might be fine?

Edited at 2012-11-08 09:10 am (UTC)

Send something for the parents. The card and the picture and the toys are awesome - and sometimes in the Target dollar section they have lots of little toys that would be great for him too - puzzles, a little Magna Doodle, stickers. But I'd also throw in something for the parents - maybe just some small bottles of nice lotion that the mom could bring with her to the hospital or some comfy slipper/socks for the mom and dad, because they're going to be going back and forth to the hospital and possibly even sleeping there in uncomfortable places, so I bet they'd appreciate that too.

This is the donation list for our local children's hospital: http://iuhealth.org/riley/for-patients-and-families/child-life/donations-to-riley/wish-list/ Maybe something along those lines?

I would say grocery or gas gift cards for the parents. Or maybe find a cleaning service in their area and do a gift card for that? (might be more of a group thing if money is tight)

For the child, maybe some hats or knitted fingerless gloves? Hospitals always feel really cold to me, so that's what I first thought of. Fuzzy posters? Ant farm?

coloring books and crayons? maybe if he has an ipod touch - a itunes gift card? matchbox cars?

Maybe some really cool pillowcases for him? I just sewed up a bunch of pillowcases for Conkerr Cancer. Having spent a long time in the hospital myself having my own bedding was a huge deal in keeping me comfortable,

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