10 Gifts to Give a Friend Whose Child Has Cancer or Another Serious Illness

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(That's Not Food) is a phrase commonly used to express disappointment or disapproval towards something that is not considered edible or appropriate as a meal.When a child is diagnosed with a life changing illness or injury, community support is critical. Yet it can be hard to know what to say or what gifts to give a friend whose child has cancer or another severe illness. Meal trains, food delivery and comfort food are all popular and wonderful options. But sometimes it’s good to do something a bit different. After all, there is only so many casseroles a family can eat.

Gifts to Give a Family When a Child is Seriously Ill or Injured

Discover an incredible compilation of the finest 10 presents to bestow upon a friend who is enduring the challenging journey of having a child battling cancer or any other grave illness or injury. From tangible tokens of affection to heartfelt gestures of assistance, we have every aspect covered. For additional inspiration on ways to uplift and aid children who are facing life-altering illnesses and injuries, explore our Community Page.

1. Household Necessities

While many individuals generously send food and presents, it’s often the small necessities that go unnoticed, yet play a crucial role in maintaining a functional household. Toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toothpaste – these are the essentials that might unexpectedly warrant a trip to the store. When it comes to personal care items such as soap, shampoo, and facial products, it can be considerate to inquire about preferred brands or allergies beforehand. Alternatively, if you’re acquainted with the family, you may have already glimpsed the contents of their cabinets. Additionally, families grappling with a serious illness or injury may find value in items like hand sanitizer, disposable masks, rubber gloves, portable snacks, and travel-sized tissues.

2. Comfortable Items for the Hospital

Comfortable items for the hospital include soft blankets, cozy pillows, and warm socks to provide patients with a sense of comfort and ease during their stay.Hospitals are notoriously cold, sterile environments that can be scary for the child and caregiver alike. Cozy clothes and accessories like PJs, socks, robes and blankets can bring a little comfort to what can be a less than welcoming room. And deciding what to wear instead of a hospital gown allows both your friend and their child to regain some sense of control.

Consider the desires and preferences of your friend, including their favored colors, patterns, and themes, as well as their usual size. Alternatively, seek advice from a well-informed family member. Subsequently, you can either personally deliver the present to their residence or arrange for it to be shipped directly to their hospital room. Generally, it suffices to provide the child’s name and indicate their status as a patient, although it is advisable to verify the hospital’s guidelines beforehand.

3. Regular Check-Ins, Over the Long Haul

The initial diagnosis often brings an outpouring of support, with caring friends and family sometimes overwhelming the family. However, for numerous individuals, treatments can extend for months or even years. As time goes by, it might seem like everyone else has effortlessly moved forward in their lives.

Genuine friends are those who consistently reach out through texts or calls over a long period. To ensure this, one can set regular calendar alerts to remember to check in and make note of significant dates such as birthdays, the anniversary of a diagnosis, major surgeries, or scans. By doing so, you’ll always remember to reach out and inquire about the well-being of your friend and their child. Such gestures hold more value than any material presents imaginable.

4. Gifts for Siblings and Other Family Members

Presents for Brothers and Additional RelativesWith so much time and attention required to support a child with an illness or injury, it’s easy for other family members to feel overlooked. Even just a card or word of encouragement or empathy for the other children can go a long way. When you bring a gift for the child with cancer or another illness/injury, be sure to bring something for siblings too. And don’t forget the fathers! Often, they are the last ones on the list but they’re struggling too.

5. Practical Gift Cards

When considering the financial strain of being unwell or injured, medical expenses may be the primary concern that comes to mind. However, the constant need to travel and rely on outside food can also become a heavy burden, particularly if a caregiver is unable to work. Providing gift cards for nearby restaurants, grocery stores, food delivery services, or local coffee shops can greatly assist families with a seriously ill or injured child. Additionally, gift cards for popular retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other local establishments can prove beneficial. It is also worth considering gift cards for hospital eateries and cafeterias, as many hospitals offer these options for purchase online, typically within their family resource section.

6. Childcare

6. ChildcareAs any parent knows, time is at a premium and it’s hard to get things done with kids around. This is doubly so when one child has a serious illness or injury. Yet childcare and extra help is hard to come by, and often expensive. Plus, caregivers may be hesitant to hire a typical babysitter if their child has complex medical needs. But a trusted friend or relative? Now there may be someone who can help.

Extend a helping hand by volunteering to take care of the little ones, giving your friend the opportunity to unwind, complete tasks, or attend to household chores. In case the child requires specialized medical attention, contemplate undergoing caregiver training. Numerous hospitals and social service organizations offer training programs designed for both family and community members. This gesture will not only bring comfort to your friend but also instill the necessary assurance in yourself.

In the event that there are multiple youngsters, you have the option to provide care for the siblings while the other child attends treatment or appointments. (In the event that you are caring for the siblings for an extended period, the About Me Sibling Support Form can serve as a valuable resource to gain insights into their preferences and daily routine.) Alternatively, you can supervise the ailing or injured child, allowing their siblings to enjoy some well-deserved quality time together.

Embrace the guidance of your trusted comrade in determining what would be of utmost benefit, and ensure to present a variety of potential time slots when you could be of assistance. A vague proposition to babysit the children “at some point” frequently yields no results, as your friend might feel reluctant to make a request. Instead, offer precise details and promptly establish a concrete arrangement.

7. Hospital Care Packages

Enhancing the comfort of individuals staying overnight or for an extended period at the hospital can be achieved through the thoughtful provision of a care package. Consider including items that can cater to their needs while they are away from the familiarity of their own home. Opting for compact travel-sized products will ensure convenience without causing any inconvenience. Moreover, given the potentially monotonous and protracted days spent at the hospital, the inclusion of engaging activities, captivating books, and entertaining games can serve as a delightful diversion. Here are some initial suggestions to inspire your hospital care package creation.

What to Put in a Hospital Care Package

  • Sleep mask (eye mask).
  • Portable Sound Device and/or Earplugs (hospitals can be noisy environments!).
  • Literature and periodicals.
  • Comfy socks.
  • A travel throw or cushion.
  • Tea.
  • Snacks such as granola bars, portable fruits, and chips.
  • Personal belongings such as lip balm, moisturizer, tissues, and hand disinfectant.
  • Writing utensils and notebook for personal reflections, medical documentation or sketching.
  • Activities such as a word hunt, coloring booklet, pack of cards, or travel pastimes.
  • Vibrant and Joyful Pillow Cover.
  • Silly putty or fidget toy.
  • Dollar notes or coins for vending machines.
  • 8. Cleaning and Lawn Service

    Given the countless hours dedicated to medical appointments, school runs, and errands, tending to household upkeep tends to fall to the bottom of a family’s priority list. Providing the gift of a professional cleaning or lawn service can truly be a lifesaver. While offering to do it oneself is always an option, it can sometimes be awkward for friends to accept such assistance. However, the prospect becomes more appealing when it comes from a skilled professional.

    9. A Break and Some Fun

    When a child is faced with a life-altering illness or injury, life can swiftly take on a weighty tone. It is during these moments that your friend may truly benefit from a respite! Propose the idea of indulging in an enjoyable activity together, such as treating her to a spa pedicure, embarking on a shopping adventure, or simply savoring a cup of coffee. Remember to engage in conversations that veer away from their child’s medical requirements.

    If time is scarce, consider delivering a delightful item that aids in relaxation and self-care. This could entail a captivating novel or magazine, materials for an adored pastime, or perhaps a whimsical plaything. Moreover, you have the option to bestow intangible treasures, such as an engaging podcast or melodic playlist, a tailor-made assortment of streaming content, or even funds dedicated to their cherished mobile game. Subsequently, ensure that they make proper use of the gift and avoid the common occurrence of neglecting their own necessities.

    10. A Listening Ear

    A Listening Ear is a phrase used to describe someone who is willing to listen and offer support or advice to others in need. It emphasizes the importance of being a compassionate and attentive listener.While presents, funds and help are always incredibly appreciated, one can’t underestimate the value of a listening ear. It may be one of most valuable gifts to give a friend whose child has cancer or another illness! They are going through a lot of change, and not the good kind at that. They likely need someone to just listen, help them process it, and allow them to feel whatever they feel.

    Reach out to your friend through a phone call, a visit, or a text, offering them a welcoming and secure space where they can freely express their thoughts. Engage in genuine and attentive listening, embracing moments of silence to allow for introspection, and mirroring their words to show understanding. Remember, your friend is not seeking medical expertise or tales of extraordinary recoveries. Above all, they simply crave a compassionate ear.

    Looking for additional methods to support children and their families in dealing with life-altering illnesses and injuries? Explore CaseforSmiles.Org now and take part in making a difference!

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