Our pediatric population relies on the generous donations of people like you to make their clinic appointment, hospital admission, or visit to a loved one more comfortable.
Donated items and activities can ease fear and anxiety while normalizing the health care environment for our patients and families. By donating items from our wish list, you can help make a child or adolescent’s visit less scary and more enjoyable. Additionally, we accept monetary donations for our program. Please click here to give online.
We take great care in making sure your gifts are put to their best use. Your donation may go to an individual child as a way to welcome them to the hospital, as a prize for getting through a procedure, or as a birthday or holiday gift. Your donation may also be used in one of our play areas or with individual patients at the bedside.
Due to special health needs, we must be extra careful with the types of gifts we can accept. To protect the health and safety of our patients, please ensure your item(s) meet the following guidelines:
- All donated items must be newly purchased (unwrapped, in original packaging).
- Handmade gifts such as blankets, masks, pillowcases, medical play dolls, or other handcrafted items must come from an environment free of smoke, pet dander, dust, and perfumes.
- Items must be free of political, religious, discriminatory, or violent content that may not be suitable for all audiences.
What we can accept:
- Recently purchased, clean, un-used stuffed animals
- New, clean, un-used handmade items (blankets, tote bags, pillowcases, masks)
- New books, toys, games, electronics (iPads, Nintendo DS, etc.)
What we cannot accept:
- Used or old stuffed animals (due to infection prevention)
- Used books, toys, games, or electronics (due to infection prevention)
- Items that have been stored for extended periods of time
- Food items (due to dietary restrictions)
- Latex balloons (due to latex allergies and choking hazards)
- Get-well cards made for our patients
- Gift-wrapped donations
Handmade items are always welcome. Below are the patterns for items we are currently able to accept.
NICU Hearts are heart-shaped cloths provided to parents whose infants are cared for in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Parents wear these hearts next to their skin, absorbing their respective scents, and then the hearts are placed with the infants whereby the parent-baby bonding process can continue even when the parents are unable to be present. For more information on Bellin’s NICU Heart program, see this digital handout.
Standard pillowcases are utilized in our pediatric areas where children have overnight admissions. Providing give-away pillowcases made of bright and cheery patterns and colors helps decrease the stress and emotional impact of the hospital experience.
Activity Bags are small tote bags to house developmentally appropriate activities such as a coloring book and crayons for give-away and distraction during hospitalization.
Medical Play Dolls are faceless, simple muslin dolls used for teaching children about medical procedures in a non-threatening and indirect way. Pediatric patients are given these dolls for teaching, diversion, or for companionship during healthcare encounters. Please consider donating dolls in culturally different skin colors (tan, brown, etc.)
Sample doll pattern
Sample gown pattern
Sample pajama bottom pattern
Blankets & Quilts
Bellin is in need of and uses a variety of types and sizes of blankets and quilts throughout the hospital. Please review guidelines for handmade items and remember all must be new and unused. If you use pins, please count the pins when you are making the blanket or quilt and again upon completion – this extra step helps us ensure the safety of our patients. We accept flannel blankets with sewn edges, gauze/muslin blankets for swaddling (approximately 43” x 43”), quilts and fleece blankets.
Sample Instructional video for new-sew fleece blankets
Sewn and Crocheted Teddy Bears These creative and fun items provide a physical sense of comfort for children undergoing medical treatment and can improve coping. Please use fleece or another soft fabric for the body – no felt, but felt is acceptable for facial features. Facial features can also be embroidered but please do not use buttons. See example patterns below:
Sample pattern for crocheted teddy bears
Sample pattern for sewn teddy bears
* We currently have enough hats to get us through the cold weather months. Please consider making one of the other handmade items instead.
Other Ways to Help
Transform Bellin Health’s pediatric programming with Starlight programs and be recognized as an official program sponsor.
Jared Boxes are a great way for you, your children, school or organization to bring the gift of play through toys in a box to young patients as they navigate through their hospital experience. Everything you need to make a Jared Box is downloadable on their website.
We are always seeking gift cards from local stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc. to support our patient and family needs while they’re in the hospitals. Gift cards in increments of $5-$25 are appropriate to donate.
Due to the end of the year being busy in health care, please consider donating early in the holiday season. It is requested that all holiday donations are scheduled in advance. Please keep in mind that our need for toys and activities remains constant throughout the year and our greatest needs are in the summertime when giving isn’t as prevalent.
We sometimes receive requests from individuals to hand out gifts directly to our patients. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate these requests, as it is important for us to respect and protect our patients’ privacy, prevent the spread of infection, and maintain a calm and healing environment. We are happy to accept and distribute donations on your behalf.
Dropping off your gift
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focused on maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our patients, families, and staff. To further help us with this, we strongly encourage you to refrain from bringing young children, make sure you are free of illness, and schedule a time for your donation drop off. We can generally accommodate your visit Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. To schedule a donation drop off, please call the Pediatrics Department at 920-433-3622.
We appreciate your generosity and help to improve the patient and family experience of our Bellin patients.