The Hope Link Care Basket Project

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I have only once ever walked into a Children's ICU with my own child. And by the grace of God, we were only there for 24 hours, but it felt like the longest 24 hours of my life.

Having a very sick child must be like your worst nightmares coming true. It's always been my biggest fear....what if something happened to my babies?

And luckily I have never had to walk that path besides that 1 day when Luke was just a few days old.

But there are families who occupy the rooms of children's hospitals every day and every night. There are children in ICU with their parents sitting in the chair next to the bed simply waiting.

Often times these families don't know that they're being admitted for a serious stay at the hospital until they're admitted. It happens fast. It's not like they had bags packed ready to move into the ICU. No one waits for that to happen.

Luckily, I know some amazing moms who have unfortunately spent far too much time in the rooms of children's hospitals who decided that they could do something to comfort families in their times of greatest need.

Ryan McLaughlin and Amy Haas, the creators of the non-profit organization Hope Link, came up with an incredible project that we need your help with.

The Care Basket Project is designed to support and pamper families who are admitted into children's hospitals or children's ICU halls with sick kiddos for long term stays.

A Care Basket is very much what it sounds like. It's a basket meant to care for these families while they're in the hospital caring for their children.

But this is a mighty, mighty project and you can help. (And I promise, there just may be something in it for you just keep reading.)

I know you've heard the saying Many hands make light work. That's the idea behind this post. Hope Link needs lots of "things" to make this Care Basket Project a success, but with lots of us helping, the work won't be hard.

Here are some of the items needed for Care Baskets:

To occupy children while in the hospital (ages 5 and under)

  • coloring books and crayons
  • books
  • music 
  • dvds
  • small toys
  • bubbles 
  • stickers
  • temporary tattoos, etc
For older children: 
  • dvds
  • books 
  • journals
  • disposable cameras
  • tissue (kleenex)
  • toiletry items
  • snacks in individual packages, etc
For the parents:
  • gift cards (Sonic, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc)
  • tissue (Kleenex)
  • toiletry items
  • lotions 
  • journals
  • devotionals (simple)
  • bottled water 
  • snacks in individual packages
  • and anything else you think would make them feel special
  • Bags or baskets to put all these items in
Here is what you can do to help.....
Find an item above that you have easy access to, and donate! 

Here's what I'm thinking.....

Are you a Scentsy consultant? Donate a few Layers by Scentsy items that you purchase with your free and half price hostess rewards. What about a Scentsy buddy or baby buddy for the kids? Scent circles, scent paks, hand sanitizers, and room sprays are also perfect additions to these Care Baskets. 

Are you a Perfectly Posh consultant? Donate anything from your catalog to help these moms feel special and pampered! 

Are you a Thirty-One Gifts or Initials Inc. consultant? Donate a bag or tote for us to fill up with goodies for these families. 

Do you sell Usborne books? The kids occupying these hospital rooms would light up over a few new books. We'd love for you to donate some. 

Are you a Discovery Toys consultant? These kiddos would be blessed by some of your smaller toys to keep them occupied. 

Are you a Couponer? Donate some of those extra toiletry items you collect as you bulk buy. Or snacks in individual packages....that would be fantastic! 

Are you a mom who goes to the grocery store every week? Stop by the travel aisle and pick up a few extra items to add to our Care Baskets. Or pick up a magazine that you think a mom might like to flip through while sitting in the hospital. 

The goal: Make these children and families feel special and pampered during a very hard time. 

Over the next two weeks, we are going to see just how many Care Baskets we can create. Beginning today and ending on Wednesday, June 12th, we'll be collecting as many items as we can to create wonderful Care Baskets for families enduring stays in children's hospitals or ICU waiting rooms. 

To participate, share this with your friends, family and anyone you know who would like to help out. Then simply send your items postmarked by Wednesday, June 13th, to the address below. Also, comment on this blog post and let me know what you're sending and why you felt moved to donate. 

Hope Link Care Baskets
c/o Allison Dalke
1805 Lancaster Circle 
Edmond, OK 73012 

I can't wait to see how we many baskets we can put together. 

Oh and one more you ever feel like you need a little pampering? Well, donate to our Care Basket Project and then comment below, and you'll automatically be entered into a random drawing to win the ultimate summer survival tote. Also, make sure you click the blue Join This Site button on the left side so you'll know when you're announced as the winner. 

If you're the lucky winner, you'll receive everything pictured below (sorry for the awful pic...I took it with my phone). The winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 20th, from the comments posted below once we have received all donated items. Remember, items being donated need to be postmarked no later than Wednesday, June 13th. 

a Shop-A-Haul-It Scout bag (perfect for the beach or the pool!) 
an Ice, Ice Baby insulated Scout bag (for your cool summer drinks)
a Tote-All Package I.D. (and phone) carrier by Scout
a double walled insulated drink cup 
a paperback copy of Janet Evanovich's entertaining book, Explosive Eighteen
a pocket bible 
an iota chic journal 
a copy of Southern Living June 2012
eos lemon drop lip balm 
a 2 pack of Burt's Bees Replenishing lip balm 
vapur the anti-bottle (foldable, freezable, reusable, water bottle) 

So what do you think? Are you in? Can you help? 

I know that we can't do everything, but we can each do something. Please share this project with anyone and everyone you know. 

And thank you in advance for helping in any way that you can. 292 of a year of writing.....


  1. I will be sending a package my next day off Allison, i had 3 babies go through the NICU.

  2. I'm off to the races and would love to help! I have tons of stuff to donate!
    Thanks Allie for being so awesome!

  3. I will be more than happy to help out!! Do you mind if I drop the donation at your door since I only live a few miles away? I would rather buy more items than pay shipping cost :) Thanks a bunch ~Lace

  4. I'll be sending you a gift card so you can do the shopping (that way we can get more with less shipping costs from way up here!)
    where do you like to shop?

  5. I will help! But if u draw my name donate that cute bag and goodies to your cause. :)


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