This post was inspired by my partnership with Duracell. All opinions are my own.
What do you worry about during the holidays?
- Shopping for all of the gifts?
- Choosing the right gift for that special someone?
- Creating the perfect meal for a family gathering?
- Cleaning the house?
- Trimming the tree?
- Putting the outdoor decorations up?
- Trying not to over-indulge?
- Packing for a Christmas vacation?
- Mailing your Christmas cards?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and while many of us are busy amid the hustle and bustle of all of the things we have to do during this festive season, some families spend their holidays in the hospital. They don’t have the privilege of experiencing all of the chaos and joy that are part of the holiday season because their children are fighting for their lives. I can’t even imagine what it is like for those families whose only wish for Christmas is a healthy child.
Guilt comes rather easy for me as I consider these families and their singular hope this Christmas as I shop for toys, electronics and video games for my kids. And while their struggles shouldn’t dampen the joy I get from watching my children experience the magic of the season; there are many opportunities to appreciate the blessings in my life while also taking a moment to acknowledge their struggles. And maybe offer a little bit of help in the process.
Because that is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
The Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) is an organization that raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals across the United States and Canada. Each year, these hospitals provide 32 million treatments to children needing medical care.
Donations to the hospitals are made on a local basis so that you know where your money is going and fund critical treatments, services, equipment and charitable care. And while these donations are essential to improving and saving the lives of children, there are other important ways to help make an impact on the lives of children who are undergoing care.
One Million Battery Donation
This holiday season, Duracell has partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network to offer a different kind of medicine for these kids during the holidays. Duracell believes in the healing power of imagination for mental, emotional and physical health and this year they are powering imagination for the kids who need it most with an incredible one million battery donation to CMN member hospitals.
In events across the USA last week, Duracell hosted toy drops at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in cities including Los Angeles, Dallas, and Chicago. I had the privilege of participating in the Chicago event at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Duracell helped us provide not only batteries but all sorts of wonderful toys for the children and their siblings.
#DuracellPowersPlay Gift Drop
Duracell knows that imagination can play a huge role in influencing the health of children. Their #DuracellPowersPlay campaign aims to improve kids hospital stays during this holiday season and beyond by helping power imaginations longer with battery donations. The toy drops offered a way for us to see firsthand not only the importance of these amazing hospitals but also the value of imaginative play as the best medicine for kids.
Before the day of the event, my daughter and I had the incredible opportunity to shop for toys to bring with to the gift drop.
The event took place on the 12th floor of the hospital with fantastic views of the city and the lake. The hospital and in particular the patient rooms were designed to maximize the views so kids and their families can have as comfortable of a stay as possible. There were lots of toys and, of course, plenty of batteries to help power those toys and the kid’s imaginations.
Toys for every age group!
And enough batteries to keep them powered for a long time.
Families were invited to come in and choose toys for their kids and the patient’s siblings as well. These two brothers came to pick toys for themselves and one for their brother who is a patient in the hospital.
This little guy zeroed in on his toy right away.
But his brother had a tougher time choosing just the right toy.
It’s a tough decision!
Finally, he found just the right toy!
This little guy didn’t take long to pick out his perfect toy.
And he clearly was super shy about having his picture taken.
His big brother got to choose a toy as well.
This was such an incredible experience for my children and me to be able to offer a little bit of cheer for families of kids facing health challenges this holiday season.
After the gift drop, while my kids helped clean up so that any remaining toys could be delivered to kids who couldn’t make it to the event room, myself and the other attending bloggers were given a brief tour of the hospital.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital
The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital is one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation. It is ranked sixth in the country and is the largest children’s hospital in the region. They reach beyond the city of Chicago into neighboring areas with twelve outpatient service locations and fifteen partner hospitals to provide greater access to the best pediatric care.
There is so much that can be said about the hospital, but it starts with the smallest details that help provide the best medical care in the most comfortable environment possible. This is achieved, in part, by taking the advice of former patients and their families through their Family Advisory Board their Kids Advisory Board. From offering their own special television programming to game rooms, lounges, crafts and more, the hospital becomes a home away from home for many families, and they really do seem to go above and beyond. When it comes to healing their bodies, having a stimulating and engaging environment can go a long way towards making a positive impact.
Each patient floor has a fun theme that makes it unique, colorful and cheerful.
We toured part of the Fire Department floor complete with an actual fire engine and Dalmatian dog.
Even the elevator doors are fun to look at.
The hospital also includes a small chapel, a family lounge area, teen lounge, and even a salon where patients can get their hair and nails done.
Outside the cafe is an atrium that reflects the Kid’s Advisory Boards request to have an area that allowed the children to feel like they were outside. With its glass enclosure and numerous details like this dandelion sculpture, it definitely achieved the vision they had in mind.
And no “outdoor” area is complete without a treehouse! This small room with a partial glass floor is suspended above the atrium and offers views from the “treetops.”
I was awestruck during the entire tour at how much care is put into helping kids get well at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
For more information about Duracell’s partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals visit: www.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/duracell. You can also find a hospital near you to donate. To support Lurie Children’s Hospital visit: www.luriechildrens.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.
A donation to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital goes directly to that hospital, and it may benefit your friends, neighbors or even your family at some point. It’s sort of like an insurance policy to help know that the hospital is there in case you need it. If you can’t donate money, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available at Lurie Children’s to help support their mission of helping heal kids.
Another chance to help is by supporting companies like Duracell who are making an impact helping promote the missions of these hospitals. You need batteries, so why not choose the brand that you know is making the world a little bit brighter for families facing health challenges?
This IS what Christmas is all about, and I am so honored to have been a part of this opportunity.