In honor of my daughter, Kayla, her sister’s, Allison, Ashley and I are in the beginning stages of creating a foundation in her name. We have discovered that there are numerous foundations regarding research and finding a cure for cancer. However, we wanted to focus on what was happening right now. There are children of all ages, along with their families, residing at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) while enduring daily, weekly and monthly chemotherapy treatments, blood and platelet transfusions, large amounts of IV medications, depression, anxiety, isolation and hopelessness. We want to give these kids and their families something to look forward to; even if it’s to give them a moment to feel as if they were escaping from cancer. While we are working on the incorporation of the foundation, which is an enormous job, we want to begin by collecting donations for these kids and their families. Our goal is to create gift baskets for the kids and care packages for the families and hand deliver them to CHOA at least once a month. ***We will not be accepting any monetary donations until the foundation is incorporated and established.***
Here are a some suggested items we can accept as donations:
Items for the kids: Toys and Games for ages 0 – 21 and they must be NEW IN PACKAGE and NOT GIFT WRAPPED, socks, blankets, pillows and hoodies.
Please remember the TEENS. Kayla was 17-years-old and did not like crayons, coloring books, or playdough. But, she did have a laptop which helped to pass the time. Gift cards would be great. They can do online shopping right from their hospital bed and have it shipped directly to their room. Itunes cards are great, too. Journals, Uno cards, and candy are perfect (kids taste buds change while on chemo; Sour Patch Kids is a perfect type of candy that they can really taste).
Items for Families – When you are staying at the hospital day after day you do get to the point where you need to do laundry. The hospital provides washers and dryers free of charge. However, to purchase a tiny box of laundry detergent from the gift shop, which will do about 1 – 2 loads, is about $5.00 a box. We would love to provide the following: laundry baskets, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets. Other items needed are toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, socks, blankets, pillows and hoodies. Gas gift cards are always needed, as well.
Prizes – The hospital provides games for the kids and their families a few times a week. The winners of the games receive prizes which include toys, games, note pads, t-shirts, etc., which we can accept, as well.
Activities – There are at least 1 or 2 activities planned each week for all ages and their families. The activities could be making a craft or an art project. Therefore, craft supplies are accepted such as stickers, popsicle sticks, craft and art kits/supplies, paints, markers, crayons, etc. NO GLITTER IS ACCEPTED.
It would be great if we could have a variety of these items mentioned above and create a fun gift basket for these kids. Please view the link below with CHOA regarding in-kind donations for a list of suggestions, as well:
Our biggest goal is to provide a mini-frig for every child diagnosed with a blood cancer or disorder at CHOA. There is 1 refrigerator to be shared by all patients and staff located in the family room. And, there is usually not a lot of room for your own food. A mini-frig was a blessing in Kayla’s hospital room. We hope to achieve this goal once the foundation is established.
As I mentioned previously, please do not forget the teens. I did read a statistic that 44% of the population of kids at the hospital were all under the age of 5. However, there are still so many teens that feel stuck and have had their independence taken away from them. We know there is nothing we can do to make them forget they have cancer. But, if just for one moment, we can do something to bring some happiness to these kids and teens, we want to do it!
We are now accepting donations for the month of November 2011. If you have anything you would like to donate, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone that provided a gift for Kayla while she was in the hospital. She appreciated everything. But, what she wanted the most was someone to visit her. We are not allowed to visit the patients at CHOA unless you are a family member or close friend. And, if these kids have days without visitors, maybe we can give them something to look forward to. Thank you and please contact me if you have any questions.