Many people like the idea of helping out in the community, but they don't know where to begin. A great place to start is with your local children's hospital. Many people in and out of the hospital need additional community support. Here are some simple things you can do to help your hospital and the patients they treat:
1. Bring resources to the children's department.
Even if you don't have a lot of money to give, the pediatrics department of a hospital benefits from community members taking an interest in providing for the social and emotional needs of children and their families. For example, you might provide fresh clothes for stillborn babies to wear, or you might make pillow cases in bright fun colors to help make a hospital room seem more cheerful. Talk to the hospital directors about what needs you might fill.
2. Support local medical fundraising.
There are many communities who do walks for cancer, autism awareness, or other diseases. You might participate and gather sponsors to donate to child kidney cancer awareness, type 1 diabetes, or multiple sclerosis. This money helps to fund research, advertising, and treatments for people who need them.
3. Sign up for volunteer positions.
Many hospitals have special programs that are almost entirely run by volunteers. If you are an art teacher, you might come and do a craft night at the hospital for kids who have extended stays ahead of them. If you are a musician, you can perform for patients and their families. Ask about the need for volunteers and fill spaces to do the mundane work so that nurses and support staff can tackle tougher jobs.
4. Donate gifts during holidays.
Many patients, families, and even hospital staff are short on time and money during the holiday season. Medical bills are tough to handle, and some parents may not be able to afford gifts along with the cost of care. Contact the hospital for guidelines about which families might need help (without names), and donate gifts to help bring magic to the season. You might also consider dropping off gift cards for hard working nurses and receptionists who pull long shifts over days when most people have time off, even if it is just for a local coffee shop or boutique store.
You can do plenty with your time and resources to support your local hospital. Contact a volunteer organization near you for more ideas. Contact a company like Driven To Cure for more information and assistance.