Patients spread holiday cheer to help hospitalized children

Patients spread holiday cheer to help hospitalized children

November 1, 2004

The Halloween candy isn't yet all gone. And now there's a Thanksgiving dinner to plan. So, why would you want to think about Christmas?

You can support a good cause by ordering holiday greeting cards from the University of Chicago Children's Hospital's Child Life and Family Education Department. Proceeds are used to purchase toys and educational materials and to provide support services for patients and families.

The colorful cards have borders of red, blue, and green. The cards are titled "Children," "Snowmen" and "Tree." Each of the designs is printed on quality card stock and contains a printed holiday message inside. The artists' names and ages are printed on the backs of the cards. Each packet of 20 cards costs $18 (plus $5 per shipment).

The children used different art supplies, including colored pencils, yarn, pipe cleaners, colorful paper and oil pastes, to create their designs. About 20 designs were submitted to the Child Life department, which then votes on the final three pictures.

Five children, ages 5 to 18, worked together on the card "Children." "This was a nice way to include many children of all different ages and genders into creating one art piece," said Emily Rogers, a Child Life specialist. "It was nice to have the kids collaborate on one piece, because they became a part of a team working on one unified goal."

The creator of "Tree" was extremely diligent while working on her design, Rogers said. She paid close attention to the tree's intricate details by creating wispy branches of pine needles in different shades of green and yellow. Pinecones hang from the tree's branches. A bird pecks at seeds at the base of the tree.

"She was trying especially hard about making sure that her design was authentic," Rogers said. "The experience proved to be one that was positive. The patient's mom continually encouraged her daughter throughout the process."

A 14-year-old patient created "Snowmen," which shows a group of "snowballs" dressed in bright striped hats and scarves and mittens. Coal smiles adorn their faces and each has the characteristic carrot nose of most snowmen. Inside is the message "Happy Holidays."

Cards may be purchased from the Child Life and Family Education Department located in the lower level of the University of Chicago Children's Hospital, Room C-10, 5839 S. Maryland Ave., MC0123, Chicago, IL, 60637. Interested parties also may call (773) 702-6481 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Orders also can be sent via fax to (773) 702-3812. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.