Resources and information for parents of children with cancer . . . by parents of children with cancer.

Gift Baskets for Families in the Hospital

The idea for this web page came from the following post:

"I received a call from our hospital and they want opinions or suggestions on what to put in newly diagnosed family gift baskets."

Another parent chimed in saying why these gift baskets are so necessary:

"Like so many of us who thought that we were going to a routine doctor's appointment and wound up going directly to the hospital for admission, we were then stuck -- probably in a city some distance from home -- without anything, not to mention being in shock."

The following lists are summaries of ideas of what to put in these baskets. Funding ideas are at the bottom.

Survival items

Special touches

Especially nice

Information sources


Many hospitals have pamphletsbooklets on childhood cancer and/or specific cancers and concerns such as eating problems and school problems. A book about a specific type of cancer might be a nice item to include, but there are several factors to consider if you wish to include one: cost, only some parents would get the book because of type of cancer and language, not every is in a position to read a huge book, no matter how interesting or informative and at the beginning parents are too stressed to make a decision about whether they want a book like that or not. An alternative is to have many copies of the books that seem to be the most beneficial to parents or most frequently used and offer them to parents to keep however long they want or permanently if they desire. Therefore, the following are perhaps the best answers to books in the basket:

Funding of the gift baskets

All this can add up to a bit of money. Jan had some very good ideas on how to raise money for the baskets.

"To fund our gift baskets, we had small fund raisers. Several business in our area donated small sums of money ($250 - $500) We wrote letters and then followed up with a visit. Remember, most people will be charitable when we are talking about helping people with a sick child. Also, we have a committee of mothers who volunteer to solicit donations. We then divide up families, so we all have two or three families we visit on diagnosis and then continue to keep in touch with throughout treatment. We write a short newsletter and make every attempt we can to keep a link going for everyone during this horrific ordeal. I organized a fund raiser through Metropolitan Insurance Company. We raised $1500 for prepaid telephone cards, and they have agreed to continue to support or cause. We have a cosmetic company not far from here, so we approached them to donate or provide at reduced cost, items that would be useful to folks who have long hospital stays."

More ideas to help families in the hospital

"In addition to the gift baskets, I have developed an audio library. Because adults are often awake later than the children, and the lights have to be out, we decided that tape players and audio books will provide a form of entertainment, and everybody loves the idea. It's a very popular addition to the inpatient floor. We also have a craft collection. We had hobby shops and craft stores put together craft kits that can be easily used by persons sitting in a hospital room. Essentially, they are kits that are compact and include all of the necessary materials and tools to complete the project in a relatively brief time frame." (Jan)

General Disclaimer

These pages are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to render medical advice. The information provided on Ped Onc Resource Center should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you suspect your child has a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

contact webmaster/ped-onc home/last updated 7/05