You're invited to participate in the 3rd annual Valentine's Day Cards for Kids & Cookies for Caregivers initiative!
Kids and their caregivers make cards and cookies for kids and caregivers who have to be in the hospital over Valentine's Day. We want the recipients to know that others are thinking of them and sending them best wishes. The cards include uplifting messages for the kids, and the cookies are from healthy-ish recipes that give caregivers a tasty treat while communicating the importance of nutrition in self care.
Kids and caregivers can participate from anywhere in the U.S.! We are so grateful to the 7 schools (in 5 states), 3 groups of friends, 1 Girl Scout Troop, and 1 kids yoga and mindfulness class that have already committed to participate this year. Here are some ways you can become involved:
1. Organize a group of friends for a Valentine's Day card and cookie making party at your house. Email us to coordinate: email@example.com.
2. Share your favorite nut-free, low cost, and easy-to-make recipe of a healthy cookie that you think a caregiver would enjoy. Please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Ask your child's teacher if their class would be interested in doing this activity to support kids at Children's National Medical Center. Please email your interest to: email@example.com.
4. Donate any supplies you may have for making cards. We welcome red, white, and pink construction paper; glue sticks; stickers; and kid scissors. No glitter please :) Please email your interest to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Provide your feedback on the following messages kids can include in the cards they make: "You are loved"; "You are surrounded by love"; "I believe in you"; "You are strong and brave"; "I wish you the very best"; "You rock"; "I am thinking of you and sending you love"; "You inspire me"; "You are awesome"; "I hope you have a great day today"; "Be brave"; "Always remember how awesome you are". Hospital staff have already approved these messages, and we seek additional feedback from parents of children who have complex medical conditions. What messages resonate most with you? Please let us know. We want to give guidance to the kids so the cards are appropriate and we hope they are well-received. It has been so special to see how many kids want to help other kids.
We look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully collaborating with you! We'll coordinate on getting supplies to you (if necessary) and picking up/receiving the cards and/or cookies from you.
Thank you for your interest!
Post Event Summary: We are so grateful to the 1,100 volunteers from 6 states who made 2,415 cards for kids and 504 cookies for caregivers who had to be in one of the following medical centers on Valentine's Day: Children’s National Medical Center, The HSC Pediatric Center, The Children’s Inn at NIH, Inova Children’s Hospital, John’s Hopkins Children's Center, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute . Each in-patient at these medical facilities received a card and hundreds of caregivers received a cookie boost!
A very special thank you to:
Beltway Bambinos, Building Blocks Therapy, Lemon Tree Playgroup, the Nanny Network, Stork Childbirth Education, Inc., Bloom Ob/Gyn, Spring Valley Pediatrics, Murch Elementary School, CCBC preschool, OmShantiRhi, The River School, SEVA Service LTD, Mason Rice Elementary School, Spring Hill Elementary, Elementary School in Darien, the Builders Club at Glenbrook Middle School, Mason Crest Elementary School, Grace Episcopal School, Overlook Spanish Immersion Elementary School, The Kindness Club at the O'Neale School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Bonnackburn nursery school, Springbrook High School, The Kingsbury Center, Girl Scout Troops 81637 and 54, Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority, Frederick, MD's Daisy Troop, and 16 different groups of friends.
Parents, teachers, and yoga instructors talked with their children and students about empathy, kindness, and compassion; therapists made cards with children in their sessions; Girl and Daisy Scouts did card-making in their meetings; and local businesses had card-making in their reception areas. These are some of the many examples of how community members came together to express their best wishes for children with complex medical conditions and their family members.