how we give back {and easy ways you can too!}

This year for Annabelle’s birthday we were fresh off of our stay in the hospital and had just recently received her JIA {juvenile idiopathic arthritis} diagnosis. We were feeling blessed beyond measure with what we had and so fortunate that our girl didn’t have to spend any more time in the hospital. During her hospital stay we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the staff – from the moment we arrived to the pediatric unit the nurses were bringing Annabelle toys, books, crafts, and movies to occupy her and distract her from everything going on. They even had staff members that were solely there to entertain the children, they brought princess crown kits, coloring books, puzzles, and more. We knew that we wanted to give back to the hospital so we encouraged our family to purchase items that could be donated to the hospital in lieu of giving gifts to Annabelle for her birthday. We fully explained to Annabelle that her gifts were going to the children who were still in the hospital {and probably getting pokes, she reminded us} and we think she understood as much as she could. Additionally, we went through our playroom and found toys to donate in the spirit of the holiday season.

Here’s a list of items the hospital suggested we could donate. It really is so simple to purchase a few things off of Amazon and drop them off at your local children’s hospital. Speaking from experience it makes such a huge difference in a child’s stay!

  • Decorations for patient rooms (decals, posters)
  • Arts and craft supplies (canvases, water color paints)
  • Distraction toys – light up toys
  • Infant rattles and soothers
  • Toddler toys (light and sound, pop-up toys, Fisher Price, Playmobile, Little People, etc.)
  • Brand new board books, teen books
  • Interactive toys – light up, remote control or musical
  • Play-dough and model magic, coloring books, crayons, water color paper, water color paint
  • DVDs (new releases), PS4 controllers
  • Small complete lego kits (around 60 pieces)
  • Gift cards: Target, Best Buy, Ulta, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Amazon, etc.

As I mentioned, we also try to clean out Annabelle’s playroom a few times a year. We take a more minimal approach when it comes to toys, keeping only the things that she’s interested in playing with at that stage. With so many loving grandparents, family members, and friends we’re always accumulating more than we need and we always want her to be aware of how fortunate she is and how she can help others. After a toy clean out I always schedule a donation pickup through It’s the absolute easiest way I’ve found to give back, you just go online, enter your address, select what you’re donating and the quantity of bags/boxes, and then choose an available date for pickup. Your donation helps the Veterans of America which is a cause that’s very dear to our hearts having so many family members that have served our country.

What ways do you give back? I’d love to hear!

My jumpsuit is from Pinkblush and Annabelle’s is a hand me down but I found it online here.

easy ways to give back with your kids

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