Train Up A Child Month 4: Craft Bags for a Children’s Hospital

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So this month’s inspiration for our service project came from our dear next-door neighbor, who I predict might become my daughter’s mother-in-law one day, once Yaya gets over the idea of marrying her brother (our neighbor has three handsome boys, one of whom became Yaya’s best friend after she wooed him through the fence with her baritone rendition of “Edelweiss”). Anyways, our neighbor was telling us about how she had recently collected items for a children’s hospital. Since Montana isn’t home to any children’s hospitals, we decided to carry our project across state borders this month, and put together craft kits for Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City.I grew up in Utah and have been to this hospital as patient and visitor, so it holds a special place in my heart.
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I explained to Yaya that some children have childhood illnesses that require them to stay in a room at the hospital for a very long time. We talked about how difficult that would be if you weren’t able to sleep in your own bed and be surrounded by your favorite toys. How you couldn’t just go sit on your comfy couch and watch television if you didn’t feel well, or go do an art project in the kitchen when you were bored.We looked up the online list of needed items for the hospital, and found that art supplies were one of the requested things. Since Yaya loves doing art, I decided this would be a relatable direction for us to go.Confession: I have an Amazon problem. I became an Amazon Prime member back when Baby Boy was in an orphanage and we had to ship formula to traveling families quickly (free 2 day shipping for Prime members). But now that he’s home, I still can’t live without it. Out of paper? Coconut Milk? STAPLES? No big deal — I’ll order the ridiculously simple item FROM MY PHONE WHILE I’M WAITING IN LINE AT THE STARBUCKS DRIVE THROUGH. They will deliver it to my door in 2 days and I don’t have to bother loading kids into the car, driving to a local store, unloading the kids, buying the item, realizing Baby Boy pooped and trying to decide if it’s more sanitary to change his diaper in the public restroom or allow him to sit in his own waste for the ride home, loading kids back in the car and driving home while trying to keep them awake in the car so they won’t cut into their precious nap time schedule and my alone time.

I’m telling you this because I’m also confessing that I bough the majority of the art supplies from Amazon, which I know takes some of the kid-involvement out of it. But in my defense, Yaya did decide what to order. She decided on play-doh, sticker books, crayons and coloring books.

(We did head to the local dollar store for coloring books. Yaya picked out the books and put them in the shopping cart, while Baby Boy proceeded to throw them out of the shopping cart, only reaffirming my decision to do the majority of the shopping for our items on Amazon.)

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Yaya then helped me assemble the items. We opted to put a few of each thing in large Ziploc bags to take to the hospital, so that each child would have their own kit.
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When we visited my mom in Utah, we took a trip to the hospital to drop off two boxes of our kits. We had to walk through almost the entire first floor to get where we needed to be. At first, I was glad we were able to walk through some of the hospital so that Yaya could see what it was like. But when she shouted, “Mom! Look! I SEE ONE OF THE SICK KIDS IN A WHEELCHAIR!” as though we were visiting the zoo, I quickly lost my desire to seek out teachable moments and dragged her quickly to the donations desk.And there you have it, our October service project.  I’m really excited about what we have in the works for November, so be sure to check back!
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