I haven’t met anyone that enjoys a stay in the hospital. I have written about several organizations that do something to make a difference for kids that have to spend time in the hospital. Sweet Dreams for Kids gives new pajamas to kids in the hospital; Camp Get-A-Well-A runs a hospital summer camp; and Tatum’s Bags of Fun gives bags of toys and games to kids battling cancer. Today’s organization is also making a difference to kids in the hospital.
When Jen Rubino was 11 years old, she began suffering from a poorly understood connective tissue disorder which plagued her life with surgeries, doctor visits, and pain. She has undergone fifteen surgeries, countless hospital stays, and has learned what it is like to struggle with illness. She became determined to do something positive with her life. That positive thing is founding an organization named Cards for Hospitalized Kids to make a difference to kids in the hospital.
The mission of Cards for Hospitalized Kids is to give kids hope, joy, and magic through cards. Doctors provide the medicine to ease physical pain, but they don’t have tools to help ease the emotional pain kids feel when they are hospitalized.
The one year old organization is based in Chicago, Illinois, but they distribute cards to hospitals all over the United States. People from all over the country and from all walks of life, including celebrities and athletes, create beautiful handmade cards to send to Cards for Hospitalized Kids. The organization then reviews the cards to ensure they are appropriate before distributing them to hospitals across the United States.
The organization makes sure that the cards don’t include “Get Well” sayings or comments regarding the child’s medical condition because these children are much more than their medical condition. These cards are meant to ease the loneliness and sadness that kids typically feel during their hospital say rather than remind them of their illness.
Over 6,000 kids at more than 60 hospitals have already received cards from Cards for Hospitalized Kids since their founding in March of 2010. They have set a goal to more than double that by sending cards to 20,000 kids in 2012.
How can you help?
Getting involved with Cards for Hospitalized Kids is easy. Anyone can make cards or host a card making event. Visit their website for details on making cards. Their website also has information on hosting a card making event and requesting founder Jen Rubino to visit your event via Skype. You can also refer a child to receive a card.
This is such a simple way to impact the lives of kids who are facing unimaginable challenges. I challenge each of my readers to send at least one card to Cards for Hospitalized Kids and tell us about it in the comments.