Next time you walk into a Children’s Hospital, notice the people who work there. Who is there to greet you? Who works at the information desk? If there’s a coffee kiosk, how do the baristas treat their customers? Next, notice the colors. Are there murals or sculptures or paintings or maybe even a fish tank? At a regular, adult hospital, patients are expected to “hold” their own fear, their own uncertainty, their own pain. But at a children’s hospital, terrified parents are already doing their best to be there for their kids, and it becomes the people and the space around them that have to contain this fear.
If you’ve ever really needed a Children’s Hospital, you know the fear. But you also know the hope born in of these people in these places of meaning and strength. Every person, every mural, every fold-out couch where families can sleep helps to heal the emotional trauma of pediatric illness.
March 18-24, 2019 is Children’s Hospitals Week, organized through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Now is your chance to help these hospitals deliver compassionate treatments to kids who desperately need them. Government programs and insurance payments rarely cover the full cost of care. Children’s hospitals depend on donations not only to cover their costs, but to make these places livable for children and families receiving care, sometimes long term.
Digging Deep is honored to have been part of many kids’ hospital experiences, starting with the many Child Life and AYA programs that used our journal, and now continuing with hospital-based programs that use our free mobile game, Shadow’s Edge, to build resilience in young people facing serious health challenges. We are proud to partner with Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where teens with cancer are testing the game’s ability to drive positive change in the face of illness. And we continue to partner with children’s hospitals around the country to develop and test new strategies to boost emotional healing alongside the physical healing these hospitals already do so well.
This week, we encourage you to give, but if giving isn’t possible, there are many more ways to get involved! At 8:00pm E.T. on Wednesday, March 20, you can watch the #ChildrensHospitalsWeek Live-athon at the Children’s Miracle Network Facebook page. Or eat at IHOP in March, when $1 of every purchase goes to support children’ hospitals. You can find even more ways to get involved at the Children’s Miracle Network page describing Children’s Hospital Week.
Join us. Get involved. And make a difference this week for children’s hospitals!