Community Service Project Ideas
The following list provides some ideas about how you can help. If you have questions or additional ideas, please contact the UMHC Child Life Program at 410-328-1241.
- 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 where we have the greatest need.
- Character Band-Aid Drive. Kids love fun character Band-Aids! While any character bandage is appreciated, current character favorites are Batman, Spiderman, Scooby Doo, Dora, Barbie, and Princesses. Latex free band-aids are strongly preferred.
- Crayon and Marker Drive. Kids in the hospital use a lot of art supplies! In addition to Crayola crayons and markers, colored pencils, Color Wonder products and construction paper are used routinely and would be greatly appreciated as well. All supplies must be new for infection control reasons.
- Sticker Drive. Following pokes or challenging procedures, children are able to pick a sticker to signal the end of the procedure as well as to communicate to the child that he/she did a good job.
- 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, or make your own coloring book from coloring pages off the internet.
- Pillowcases. Colorful, kid-friendly pillowcases are a great way to help a hospital room seem a little more like home. If able, we let children pick their pillowcase so it's even more personable. Pillowcases also double as great bags for carrying stuff home when discharged from the hospital.
- 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.
- 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 are 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.
- Host a Car Wash to benefit Child Life at the University of Maryland Hospital for Children.
- 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 bundle": colored streamers, "Happy Birthday" banners, unfilled mylar balloons, gift bags and colored tissue paper, birthday cards for different ages.
- 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.
- Slipper Drive. Hospital floors can be cold and comfy slippers provide warmth and safety when walking around the hospital. Sizes infant to adult. Must be brand new.
- Join the Peter Pan Birthday Club and select the University of Maryland Hospital for Children as your donation organization.
- 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.
- Parent Care Kits. When children are admitted unexpectedly, parents don't 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, these are helpful items to include in a parent care kit - note pads, a pen, packaged snacks (granola bars, crackers, trail mix, pretzels), tissues, toothpaste, toothbrush, Chapstick, lotion, and shampoo/conditioner.
- Handmade muslin dolls in neutral skin colors.