The week between Christmas and New Year’s brings a bit of a reprieve when I like to take a moment to quietly reflect on how the holidays are going. The lists were made and checked twice. Holiday gatherings with family and friends were full of sweet treats and good cheer. We shared gifts and many boxes were unwrapped.

But if we think “outside the box,” what really makes this time of year so special? I think being with loved ones is what we all hold dear. Year after year, family after family, new traditions are created and old ones are honored.

When a child is in the hospital, being with family and honoring traditions can be a challenge. Families make their holidays come alive at the hospital with the help of staff and friends. Traditions and celebrations take on a different feel and meaning. Sometimes, simply being together is the most important gift.

With the help of a wonderful hospital staff and a generous community, we are able to provide significant support throughout the holidays. Our staff distribute donated gifts, host special events, deck the halls (literally) and serve special meals for children and their families. We also try to remove the barriers created by distance by providing gas cards or hotel accommodations so families can be close to the hospital.

So as we ring in the New Year, how do we stay focused on the good fellowship and feeling created during the past few weeks?

Think outside the box about the gifts you can share. Time, talent and thoughts about how to support a family struggling with a child in the hospital always will be greatly appreciated.

Happy New Year!

~ Maggie M. Butterfield, MS, director, Patient Amenities and Family Services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
To learn more about giving and volunteering at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, visit our website.

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