I recently read an article about a Unit that regularly visited their local hospital once a month and did crafts with some of the kids who were in the hospital. I absolutely LOVED the idea. Since I work for two pediatricians here in Northern B.C., I see the kids who go through our local Pediatric Ward and how some kids are constantly in and out of the hospital. It can be a scary place for kids to be.
However, I was reluctant to bring our girls to do crafts with the kids in the hospital, as we have a very large Unit, and our hospital often has kids with infectious illnesses, and we would not want to expose our girls to their germs and vice versa. Luckily, with a few Girl Guide brains put together, we came up with the idea to make craft kits that the kids at the hospital can do themselves.
And from there the idea grew. I contacted the hospital and asked them if they thought the kits would be a good idea and if the kids there would like them. They just LOVED the idea, too! I also asked if the kids there have access to scissors and glue, and was told that the Pediatric Ward often runs out of craft glue so we went and bought a bunch to include with our kits.
Holly, my co-Guider, and I planned a meeting where our Sparks would put together 120 craft kits. Each kit contains instructions and a picture of how to make the craft, as well as all of the necessary items needed to complete the craft. The kits also contain some Girl Guide PR material, as we want the kids and their families to know who made the kits and about all of the fun things we do in Guiding. Who knows, maybe some of the girls who are admitted to hospital will enjoy her craft so much she will want to join all the fun we have in Girl Guides.
Our Sparks at the meeting discussed where the kits were going and most of the girls had known someone who had been in the hospital before. Some of our girls have also been admitted to hospital themselves, and can know what a difficult place it can be. They were all excited to be a part of helping other kids, and could relate to what we were doing. I was proud that when we put together the kits, that not one girl asked if she could make one for herself, as she understood the importance of sharing these with the kids who could use them more than herself. Not only a valuable service project, the meeting also covered topics that relate to the Being Healthy Keeper.
At the next day off of school the girls had, we took a few of our Sparks to the hospital to drop off our hard work for the kids at the hospital who could enjoy them. The kits were in plastic bins, with a sign indicating it was Girl Guides who made the donation.
Five of our Sparks came to the Pediatric Ward at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia to donate our crafts. They met a three-year-old little boy who was a patient at the hospital. They gave him one of our fishing craft kits. There were four fish to decorate, put paper clips on the nose, and then a stick with magnets to attach for the fishing rod. The local paper, The Free Press, and the local TV station, CKPG TV showed up as well.
While we were visiting the little boy, the girls introduced themselves to him and said they were Sparks. Aaliyah said, “We are Sparks and we Promise to Share and Be A Friend.” And that’s exactly what we were doing with our service project. We shared crafts to our friends at the Pediatric Ward. Aaliyah had so much fun helping others she has been asking her mom who we are going to donate to next. It is great to see that her and the other Sparks care so much about our community and helping others at such a young age.
The girls were so excited because they were going to be in the newspaper and on TV. They were “famous” for all their hard work making up the craft kits. Here’s the CKPG TV newscast about the community service:
Don’t have a local Pediatric Ward in your community? You can make kits to donate to local shelter. The Pediatric Ward also mentioned that they often run out of things like toothbrushes, hair brushes, etc. If someone is hurt and is rushed to the hospital from another community, they may not have the time to grab all of the necessities. Another service project could be to collect and donate those items to your local hospital.
By guest blogger Kaarina aka Sunshine, 1st Spruce Sparks, Prince George, BC. This post originally appeared on her Guider Sunshine blog, and we are thankful for her allowing us to share it with our audience too. Don’t miss reading Kaarina’s previous post on GirlGuidesCANBlog: Bandanas and Things I Have Learned About Them.