Community Service Project Ideas - Child Life Program
The following list provides some ideas about how you can help. If you have questions or additional ideas, please contact the University of Maryland Children's Hospital Child Life Program at 410-328-1241.
- Crayon and Marker Drive. Kids in the hospital use a lot of art supplies! In addition to Crayola® crayons and markers…. colored pencils, glue sticks, Model Magic, kids scissors and construction paper are used routinely and would be greatly appreciated as well. All supplies must be new for infection control reasons.
- Coloring Books. We use coloring books every day in the hospital and in all areas where we help to take care of kids. We are always in need of more coloring books.
- Toy Drive. Click on any of the following Wish Lists for a listing of appropriate and popular items for all ages. Collect toys for all ages, or "adopt" a specific age group -- items for infants and teens tend to be areas of greatest need.
- Build a Blanket. There’s nothing like a soft, colorful blanket to make a hospital bed feel a little more like home. We find the fleece blankets with the tied edges tend to be the most popular because they are so comfy for snuggling. You can make them or arrange them in kits for kids in the hospital to make their own. Infant, children and teen sizes needed with teen sizes being a high need area.
- Pillowcases. Colorful, kid friendly pillowcases are a great way to help a hospital room seem a little more like home. Oftentimes, children are able to pick their own pillowcase so it’s even more personable. Pillowcases also double as great bags for carrying stuff home when discharged from the hospital.
- Character Band-Aid Drive. Kids love fun character Band-Aids! Current character favorites are Batman, Superman, Doc McStuffins, Star Wars, and Disney Princesses. Latex free band-aids are strongly preferred.
- Magazine Drive. Do you have a magazine subscription that you don’t know what to do with once you’ve read it? Or would you be willing to provide a new subscription? Magazines are a wonderful diversional resource for children, teens and families in the hospital. We accept new and good condition magazines (less than 6 months old) for use with the children, teens and parents at the hospital. Must be child appropriate – recommended titles include Cricket, Jack & Jill, Family Fun, Highlights, American Girl, Sports Illustrated Kids, Teen Vogue, and National Geographic Kids.
- Parent Care Kits. When children are admitted unexpectedly, parents may not have a chance to prepare for a hospital stay. Whether it’s a parent of a child in the critical care unit or a parent of a child with an extended hospital stay, a “care kit” lets parents know someone is thinking of them and supporting them by providing some basic comforts of home. Based on feedback from parents, helpful items to include are – note pads, a pen, packaged snacks (granola bars, crackers, trail mix, pretzels), word search/crossword puzzle books, tissues, toothpaste, toothbrush, Chapstick, travel size lotion, shampoo/conditioner, gift cards to area eateries (Subway, Au Bon Pain, McDonald’s, Panera, & Potbelly)
- Adopt a Meal. Provide a breakfast, lunch or dinner for families of children in the Pediatric and the Pediatric Intensive Care Units. Meal expenses can add up quickly for families of children in the hospital, and some families are reluctant to leave their child’s bedside to travel to the cafeteria for a meal. Providing a meal in our Parent Lounge would enable parents to stay close to their child while still getting a nourishing bite to eat for themselves. For infection control reasons, all food must be store-bought or catered.
- Host a car wash to benefit Child Life at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital.
- Run a lemonade stand over the summer and donate the proceeds to children in the hospital or use the proceeds to purchase toys or arts and crafts for kids to play with in the hospital.
- Birthday decorations. We provide gifts to children in the hospital on their birthday. We could use your help with decorating their hospital room on this special day. Recommended items to include in this “birthday decoration bundle” - colored streamers, “Happy Birthday” banners, unfilled mylar balloons, birthday themed gift bags, colored tissue paper, and birthday cards for different ages.
- Join the Peter Pan Birthday Club and select The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital as your donation organization. www.peterpanchildrensfund.org
- Create Prepackaged Craft Kits. Crafts are one of the most requested activities when children are in the hospital. These craft kits can be used in our activity rooms or quickly delivered to a child's bedside to help pass the time during hospitalization. Check out Ideas for Activities and Crafts for some suggestions.
- Medical Play Dolls in neutral skin colors.