There are many volunteer and service events that involve writing cards and making bracelets for hospital patients. Through the years, I have learned a few dos and don’ts when delivering things to these patients.
When it comes to writing cards, it is important to be mindful of what you are writing and how you are writing it. I’ve learned that saying things such as “stay strong” and “have faith” is not very helpful and can sometimes make hospital patients feel worse. These patients are already trying to be strong, and telling them in a card is not going to make them feel any better. I noticed that the best things to write on a card are things to distract them. For instance, when I would write cards, I would include my favorite jokes or puns to make them laugh. I have many friends who are very talented at drawing, so they would also draw pictures on their cards. Anything to cheer up the recipient and distract them is good to add to a card.
In addition, many hospital patients get the same generic cards and bracelets from a lot of strangers. It is important to add something unique. For instance, my friend once told me of a man who dressed up as Hagrid from the Harry Potter series and walked around a children’s hospital giving Harry Potter-themed toys to children. Another person would knit animal keychains for hospital patients and give them a little note with fun facts about that animal. Unique ideas like these can cheer up hospital patients instead of giving them generic cards.
However, regardless of what you give, the important thing is to always think about what these hospital patients are going through and to be mindful of what you are giving. Service and volunteer events that involve care packages for hospital patients are very successful, so it is important for everyone to know the dos and don’ts for these care packages.