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Kids in hospitals at Christmas

Kids in hospitals at ChristmasThere is nothing more painful than to be in a hospital during the holidays. And I’m sure it’s several times worse for kids, who would be missing all the fun and the festivities. And what about the parents/caregivers, who have to put up with the complaints and tantrums as well as go through the ordeal of seeing their loved ones in pain?

I remember a friend’s experience one holiday season when her young son had to undergo chemotherapy. Or the daughter of a friend of a friend who got the best Christmas present of all – a heart donor just days before Christmas. Although her family was overwhelmed with joy, they knew there was another family somewhere mourning for a lost loved one.

It is therefore heart warming to see how celebrities go out their way to cheer up little hospital patients. The New York Islanders hockey team visited their tiny fans at the Schneider Children’s Hospital last December 6. In the UK, stars of the premiere league team Stoke City brought cheer and laughter to children at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire this week.

However, we don’t have to be celebrities to spread Christmas cheer. There are many ways big and small to help out hospital patients during the holidays. When I was in college, our choir went to sing Christmas carols at the nearest hospital every weekend before Christmas. I know this California-based guy M who goes home every December to his home country, the Philippines, to distribute toys at the pediatric ward of the country’s biggest public hospital. This year, my kids and I sorted out toys and books they’ve outgrown to be donated to Starbuck’s book drive for the Zurich Children’s Hospital. I only wish we can do more.

Check out your local hospital and see what you can do to help out this Christmas! Every little thing counts!

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