Santa and Mrs. Claus visit KCH.

Here's how you can make the holidays brighter for young patients

Kentucky Children's Hospital, Child Life Program

Spending time in the hospital for illness or injury is no fun for kids, especially when they have to be there during the holidays.

The staff and volunteers of Kentucky Children's Hospital do all they can to make the holidays merry and bright for young patients. From holiday parties to caroling nurses, they make sure that the kids won't miss out on any of their favorite holiday traditions. And that includes a visit from Santa, who assures them that even though they are in the hospital, he and his reindeer will still pay them a visit on Christmas Eve.

"We try to create special events for families and patients so they can celebrate the holiday like they were at home," said Child and Family Life Coordinator Jennifer Guilliams. "We've had children who have said things such as, 'I didn't realize Santa was going to come because I wasn't at my house.' The opportunity to be able to provide that has been a blessing."

Here are three ways you can donate to KCH:

KCH Toy Drive

The Child Life staff welcomes donations during the annual KCH Toy Drive. The wish lists include art supplies, craft kits, DVDs and games. You can also buy gifts from these Amazon and Target wish lists. Gift cards and monetary donations are accepted as well.

Donation drop-off dates are:

  • Thursday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 14, 1 – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 17, 1 – 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 18, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Donors should contact the Child Life Department at KCHChildlife@uky.edu to receive directions to the drop-off location and a confirmation for your donation.

Jarrett's Joy Cart

KCH partners with Jarett's Joy Cart, a nonprofit organization that delivers toys to patients throughout the year. Jarrett Mynear started the Joy Cart in 1999 while a patient at KCH. He wanted to find a way to help his fellow patients and to bring them some joy during their stays. Jarrett passed away in 2002, but his mother Jennifer Mynear keeps the holiday tradition going.

"Jarrett wanted kids to know that we were thinking about them," said Mynear. "Especially having been through a lot of what these families are going through, being in here right up to the holidays."

Read more about the Joy Cart and how to get involved.

Snow Bunny Baby Project

In 2015, Sunny King, a volunteer in KCH's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, started the Snow Bunny Baby Project, collecting donations for families with newborns as a way to provides support and essential supplies during a stressful time. King and her team are accepting donations until December 15.

The most requested items are:  

  • Baby wash.
  • Diapers, size 2.
  • Baby wipes (150-200 count).
  • Infant toys.
  • Infant wash cloths.
  • Onesies (size 3 to 6 months).

To make a donation, contact Sunny King at sunnyjoywinner@gmail.com, or visit the project's Facebook page. Monetary donations are also accepted.

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Kentucky Children's Hospital
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