Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.
After spending months in the hospital, one thing became very apparent very quickly. People are kind.
Within our first week, I remember our neighbor Harry calling and explaining that he had a whole box filled with letters and care packages. Friends, family, random acquaintances, and complete strangers spoiled us with so many wonderful and helpful things.
Today I want to talk care packages. We know you want to help others and unless you've spent some time in a hospital, you may not know WHAT would actually be helpful (or fun).
1. Books- Most people's gut reaction is to send something inspirational and encouraging. But when you are going through a traumatic experience, sometimes the last thing you want to read is how others have dealt with trials. You want to escape to a world where there are spies, mystery, and basically anything other than someone else semi-depressing story. So, grab a good fictional novel to toss in that box!
In the above photo, you will see a John Grishman book someone sent us. We spent so many evenings sitting outside and reading novels. Ps. Inspirational books are great after the realities have sunk in. We are reading a few now!
2. Warm Clothing- Fun fact. Hospitals are FREEZING. Throw in a twin size snuggly blanket (hospital rooms are also very small), maybe a pair of nonslip warm socks, or even a zip up sweatshirt.
3. Games- At some point, TV just gets boring (unless it's Shark Week). A couple cheap games from Walmart always helped keep us occupied. Someone threw in a random game called THE GAME and we played it for hours and hours! Hint, keep it to deck/ or small games. They are easier to keep track of and to store. We love Monopoly Deal, cards, Banana Grams, and The Game. You can also consider printing off your favorite card game instructions and including it in the package.
4. Hygiene Supplies- All the dry shampoo, all the time. Seriously. I'm pretty sure at one point I went through a bottle of dry shampoo in a week. Face wipes, small bottle of body spray, deodorant, etc. Basically, raid the travel size aisle at the grocery store. I kept a small thing of toothpaste, deodorant, etc. in my green backpack at all times. It was nice to feel like I could freshen up while I waited for D to get out of a 2 hour MRI.
5. Giftcards- Duh right? These are obviously SO helpful when it comes to food, gas, and general life expenses. I will say, be careful with sending in just a thin envelope. We have had some issues in the past with the card arriving but the gift card not being in there. Our favorites? Ones that had apps to keep track of the gift cards. Starbucks has an app that you can upload the card and just use your phone. Pretty handy!
6. A little something special- Think of what this person loves. For me, it is obviously plants. I had a few friends drop off some adorable, fake mini succulents to sit in our window. With the holidays approaching, maybe it's a tiny Christmas tree or a simple string of battery operated lights.
7. And finally, nice pens- For a long hospital stay, writing down doctors notes, etc. is basically second nature. A good writing pen is awesome to have around (and a cute notebook never hurts either!).
No amount of words could express our gratitude to you all. Our life was made abundantly easier through your generosity and we can't thank you enough!
Now, get out there and keep showing the love!