Helping parents with really sick kids

Ever have a friend whose child is hospitalized? I found an excellent resource online today, with a list of things to put in a gift basket for a parent whose child is in the hospital. This is THE LIST I've given a dear friend twice now (thank you - you know who you are!) when a day in the hospital turned into a week. It would greatly bless any friend of yours facing similar difficulty, and may be a good idea for hospitals or even church small groups to provide as a service to those thrust suddenly into need.

Survival items
  • phone card for long distance
  • tooth brush/tooth paste
  • shampoo and hand cream
  • small box tissues
  • Tylenol (adult)
  • sanitary pads
  • razor (there are never ANY in the hospital, for whatever reason)
  • mints, gum, instant breakfast, calming herb tea, chocolate
  • trial size antibacterial hand gels
  • digital thermometer (paranoid parents always double check)
  • a journal for parents to record experiences or medical information
  • note cards/writing tablets/envelopes/stamps/several pens
Special touches
  • pillow from home
  • crayons/coloring book/drawing pad/stickers/book/small kids games
  • blanket/tee shirt/hat/underwear
  • slippers/soft socks
  • coffee mug
  • wonderful body refreshing spray - purse size (lemon/citrus is the most universal scent)
  • cash, cafeteria gift card and/or parking tickets, gift certificate from hospital gift shop
  • a list of nearby restaurants that deliver to the hospital
  • Pick up, launder and drop off laundry
  • Babysitting of other children
  • Offer to organize or pay bills, bring bills to the hospital, or contact service providers such as phone, power, cable, garbage, post office to alert them to the family emergency
  • Mow lawn/shovel snow/weed gardens/feed pets
  • Make meals for those stuck at home
  • Bring homecooked food to your friend who is stuck in the hospital (a friend brought me homemade buffalo chicken pizza at the hospital while Caleb was sick and I will seriously never forget it!)
  • Offer to sit with the sick child in the hospital so the parent can run an errand, go outdoors for a few minutes, make phone calls, or get food out of sight of their child, who may be unable or not allowed to eat
Thanks to Ped-Onc Resource Center for the great list!