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Making Holidays Special for Ill Children

There are lots of ways to give to the thousands of children who are in the hospital during the holidays. (Children's Mercy)
There are lots of ways to give to the thousands of children who are in the hospital during the holidays. (Children's Mercy)
December 8, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It isn't something people like to think about this time of year, but thousands of children are in the hospital during the holiday season, and won't be waking up at home to see what Santa brought them, or getting a chance to go out and play with a new skateboard or bicycle.

Jenea Oliver, vice president of philanthropy at Children's Mercy in Kansas City, says many hospitals accept gifts and donations for children who are too ill to be released. She says there are several ways to give.

"We have a wish list, so you can pick items out that we know we need at the hospital and you can help fund them,” she explains. “You also could do a drive, where you would collect them and then bring them to us, the actual items."

Items needed at the hospital include blankets, games and other activities children can do while they're there. Other ways to give include making a donation online or by mail or telephone.

And for those who have time instead of money to give, Oliver says there are plenty of volunteer opportunities at the hospital or its charitable events.

Of course, hospitals have children who are patients every day. Oliver says there are ways to help all year, including asking people to make donations for a special occasion instead of purchasing gifts.

"We also have a site where you can plan a birthday party or another celebratory event, in which people will give on your behalf to the hospital," she points out.

Oliver adds people can look for the Children's Mercy donation canisters at many retail stores in Kansas and Missouri, making it easy to donate right at the checkout counter to help hospitalized children.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO