Donors give toys, jammies, and smiles to our pediatric patients — your family can pitch in, too!
If you’ve ever visited AAMC’s pediatric unit, you know what a special place it is for kids and families. The pediatric staff work hard to create a comfortable and home-like environment for kids, and to fill their time here with many more pleasant memories than scary ones. We wouldn’t be able to meet these goals without the amazing support of our community donors and local charities, who supply comforting items for kids ranging from blankets and pillowcases to toys and games.
Conkerr Cancer (www.conkerrcancer.org) is a volunteer organization that provides hand-sewn, kid-friendly pillowcases to hospitals including AAMC.
Project Linus (www.projectlinus.org) provides lovingly hand-crafted blankets to AAMC and other hospitals nationwide. Pediatric inpatients at AAMC are often pleasantly surprised to find a colorful pillowcase and blanket adorning their hospital bed when they are admitted rather than drab white linens.
Many children are equally delighted to receive a set of brand new pajamas, perhaps featuring Dora the Explorer or Spiderman, that they can wear instead of a hospital gown. AAMC receives these pajamas in sizes suitable for infants up through teenagers from Kami’s Jammies, a program of the Casey Cares Foundation (www.caseycaresfoundation.org ). Pillowcases, blankets, and jammies bring a little touch of home to the hospital for our youngest patients.
One of the most popular places to visit in Peds is Cole’s Closet in the playroom. Through the generosity of Cole’s Closet (www.colescloset.org ), an organization that continually stocks toy closets for several DC Metro area hospitals, we are able to keep a steady supply of brand new toys to be used as prizes or day-brighteners for kids with chronic illnesses who may have to endure an extended stay in the hospital.
We are also very grateful to many individual donors who choose to purchase and donate toys to the Pediatric Unit. We were absolutely blown away by the generosity of a local five-year-old, who recently decided to donate his birthday presents to the hospital instead of keeping them for himself! Now his younger sister is planning to follow her big brother’s lead when she has her birthday party later this month.
AAMC’s Child Life Specialists arrange and coordinate donations of toys and other non-medical pediatric supplies. If you are interested in donating, please visit our Starlight Wish List or contact our Child Life team at (443) 481-6257. -Polly Hurlburt, Child Life Specialist, Pediatrics