Friday, November 15, 2013

Holiday Hope Tip #2: Deciding What to Donate to Your Local ICU - Holiday Gift Items

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Once you are cleared to deliver at the hospital (See Advice Tip #1), be sure to ask if there are any restrictions on items that are included or check their website. After you know your hospital's policies, you are ready to start. But what to donate?

If you are interested in donating items make sure to keep it simple, but donate something with meaning. Our packages on average cost $30-$50 a piece, but in today's economy being able to provide every little one in the NICU a package in that price range personally is not within most people's means. Single items or small gifts bags with 2-3 items are well received and easy for you and the staff to store until they ready to be delivered to the families. 

Holiday Items

This could be anything from stockings to Holiday themed accessories for baby. Here is a list of common items that we deliver to the NICU during the holidays

  • Holiday Board Books: Board books are a great way for parents to interact with their little ones and even more fun if they have a holiday theme!
  • Baby caps: If your hospital allows caps, consider donating holiday themed caps to the little ones in the NICU. Santa and elf caps are always a favorite. These also make great photo opportunities for the families. 
  • Blankets: Holiday themed or otherwise, blankets are always a wonderful gift if your NICU policies allow. If you are making the blankets, make sure to select fabrics and yarns that keep baby's delicate skin in mind.
  • Disposable cameras: Help families capture treasured memories this holiday season by providing them with a camera. Nurses also love to have them around when parents are away to capture moments and milestones. 
  • Ornaments: Although the family may not have a tree to hang the ornament on today, an ornament will serve as a reminder of their journey for years to come. You can find "My First Christmas" ornaments or ornaments with a photo insert at most any store.
  • Plush animals: Buy holiday themed teddy bears or other plush animals. They will look super cute in baby's area in the NICU.
  • Christmas treats: Donate candy and other Christmas goodies. The parents are sure to be thankful for a sweet treat!
  • Gift cards: Include a gas card or a restaurant card. Traveling and food expenses can accumulate quickly when your baby is in the NICU. Sponsoring a meal or travel to the hospital will mean the world to the families. 
  • Holiday music: Music has shown to be beneficial to children in intensive care. Donate CD's with a holiday theme so that the NICU can be filled with these seasonal tunes.
  • Cards: make or buy special holiday themed cards. Include a heartfelt message letting the families know you are thinking of them this holiday season
Holiday Gift Bags (2-3 items)Wrap up all all of your items in creative packaging. You could use traditional gift bags or add a holiday twist by using a stocking.

Make sure to join our Facebook group where we will be posting links to some great deals on Holiday items!

Keep following our blog and Facebook page for more tips this Holiday season. We will also be presenting a couple more ways you can give back including hosting Holiday meals and crafting ideas so make sure to stay connected!


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