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Service Project for Kids: A Book Drive to Help a Hospital

This summer, we hosted a service project to help bring more books to the area Children’s Medical Centers and their outpatient locations.

It is NO picnic being stuck in the hospital. I used to work in a hospital on a child psychiatric unit, and one of the best resources that we used during the difficult time of being hospitalized was our amazing patient library.

During our last donation drop off of Busy Books (busy books are great items that kids can use in the ER–another service project that kids can do for the hospital), I spoke with the coordinator, and she gave me the basic guidelines for what the patient library needed:

Gently and new books. (Due to infection control and the safety of the patients, newer books are preferred.)

High need areas are:

  • Board books for infants and toddlers
  • Fiction and Nonfiction books for adults
  • Current magazines for children and adults
  • Children’s and young adult new releases and best sellers
  • Spanish language children’s materials for all ages

So, we told all our friends about our book donation drive for the hospital. We asked our friends, members of our congregation, and posted about it on Facebook.  We decorated a box to house the donations, created thank you notes to send to those that gave us books . . .

AND, the books just started pouring in . . . in the end of two weeks of asking for donations, we had 250 books to take to Children’s Medical Center.

And, just for good measure, we made 86 more Busy Books to donate.  Now, the numbers are fun for the kids because any number higher than 10 is AMAZING!  In reality, any number of books donated will be extremely helpful to the hospital.

On Donation Day, we packed suitcases and bags loading up the 250 books and 86 Busy Books. We were SOOO excited!

In fact, we felt like we were bringing enough books that they would have to build a bigger library to hold all those wonderful stories!

The volunteer was thrilled about the boys coming to donate so many needed items.  (We always take a minute to practice what they want to say, and it really helps them to feel confident when telling a stranger what they are trying to do!)

And, just as we were finishing the delivery, I realized that we had just donated our 400th Busy Book to the hospital!  The Busy books are so crazy easy to make, and my boys really enjoy making them.  So, several times a year, we sit down and put together a few, or so.

The boys seemed to walk a bit taller, a bit more confident, on the way out of the hospital.  My six year old said, “Mom, that was a really good thing we did.  I think we need to celebrate.”

And so, we did.  With balloons and bubble gum!