A while ago I told you about the Blog 4 Cause Campaign, an initiative created by my friends Amy of Teach Mama and Allie of No Time for Flashcards. I wanted to involve my sons in projects they could relate to. There’s an amazing children’s hospital near where we live, where they knew their cousin’s cousin, Matthew, had spent the better part of a year waiting for a second heart transplant (which he miraculously received!) before finally returning home.
A little boy my own boys had never met, but whom they had talked about, asked about, and prayed for. They knew him as a little boy like them. A little boy who likes light sabers and ninjas, and who wanted to be healthy — and home. This experience made Primary Children’s Medical Center an ideal cause for my boys.
Primary Children’s Medical Center is a phenomenal children’s hospital. They are not only one of the best places from a medical standpoint, they also do a tremendous job of meeting the needs of the whole child as well as the child’s family. On the list of desired donation items, which they use to engage the children staying in the hospital, I noticed playdough and craft kits. I wanted to give my kids a chance to really get involved in the project, so I thought I’d have them help create playdough cupcake kits (inspired by this post from NurtureStore). Nothing like the combination of playdough and party-style cupcakes to make a child smile!
I gathered the items we would need (including baggies for organizing it all) and printed up these labels.
My boys filled small baggies with the supplies, and trimmed pipe cleaners to different sizes. As we worked we talked a little about the children who might receive them and how they might play with the supplies in the kit.
We put the kits together into gallon sized bags. Everything you need to make a few playdough cupcakes!
But I think my favorite part was the notes my boys wrote to the children who would receive these fun kits.
If you’d like to do a service project for Primary Children’s Medical Center, you can check out their information here.
I loved reading about Matthew’s own experience giving service during his stay at Primary Children’s. As his dad recorded on the hospital’s blog, friends of Matthew’s created gift bags this summer — not for him to use, but for him to give away to other children at the hospital. As his mom said, the opportunity for him to serve others when he was still so sick himself, was “the best gift and teaching moment he has ever received”.
That’s the same experience we hope the Blog 4 Cause initiative will bring to many more children. To realize that they can serve — no matter their size or circumstance — and shift their attention from themselves to the needs of others. And in the process, they stand to gain something as well.
If you’ve been inspired to work for a cause with your little ones, please link up below and add to the tally here. Share your experience and motivate others to get little hands together to make a big difference!
I think your playdough cupcake decorating kit is a fantastic idea to cheer up children in the hospital. I also really liked the idea of the children writing cards to the children who would be receiving the gifts. I would just make one suggestion – you clearly label that the Playdough contained is not gluten-free. Playdough contains flour (wheat). There are children in the hospital who cannot have anything to do with gluten as it makes them very ill. My children cannot eat, play with or use gluten containing products as it makes them very sick. Unfortunately gluten is in wheat, rye and barley which eliminates a lot. Thank you so much for your blog and all of your ideas!!!
Thanks for the reminder, Anne! I used store bought playdough (as much as I prefer the homemade stuff) since that was what was on the hospital’s supply list. I figured if it’s something they’re used to using, it takes care of a lot of those concerns.
I love your idea! My daughter has been in and out of the hospital quite a bit during her 2 year life, and her children’s hospital has an amazing child life department that I have wanted to help for a long time. You’ve inspired me to get my kids involved, as this hospital is a very personal place for both of them. Thank you for the ideas, for the support, and also for helping bring a smile to families when they really need it. I’m sure your cupcakes will make a huge difference to so many kids, as these small unexpected gestures make such a big impact.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Robin. I was a NICU baby and my dad spent time at a charitable children’s hospital as a child. I have a soft spot for these places! It’s amazing what those child life departments do, isn’t it? I’m sure they would love the support, particularly from “one of their own”. What a fabulous project for your kids. They can serve with a type of empathy many children wouldn’t be able to claim. I’d love to hear more about what you end up doing!
I LOVE this idea!! I’ve been struggling a little bit as we are literally not home this entire month and doing LOTS of traveling for interviews for my husband . . . but this is something we can do, especially since we are interviewing at hospitals all across the west! We haven’t had personal experience with being in the hospital, but I think it is still something the kids will be able to understand if we can explain it well.