'The kids will love these!' - Hats & more to Minneapolis Children's

We donated 130 items to the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis on Monday, Sept. 30, 2014. Our boxes included 118 hats, 8 scarves and 3 shawls. There were items for little kiddos all the way up to teens.

As she dug through the boxes, Mollie Loiselle of the Children's Hospital Foundation said, "These are going to be so popular!" She added, "Thank you so much. These are beautiful."

Getting to Children's was a quick trip for Amy and I, as both of us live nearby in South Minneapolis. While we were there, Amy pointed that out to Mollie, adding, "It's part of our mission to donate locally and not ship across the country."

When we arrived, Molly presented each of the 3 kiddos accompanying us with goodie bags. They were thrilled to not only be part of our donation but to also be recognized with a gift. Both Amy and I were impressed by the care Children's demonstrated to our kids. 
"This is the perfect time of year for you to come in," Molly observed, as we head into the cold weather season. Additionally, the hospital begins to limit visitors during the flu season. 

Then Molly gave us a brief tour, pointing out the large Sibling Play Area on the second floor complete with a big climbing structure, computers and more. This is something now available at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Parents can go in with their kids or arrange to drop them off for two hours at a time so they get 1-on-1 time with a Family Life Specialist. What a valuable amenity for getting time to speak with doctors without the kids there! Or for a parent to just get a short break.

Near the Sibling Play Area is a Family Resource Center, paid for by generous donations.
For the eyelashes on the fairies, artist Dan Mackerman drove 2.5 hours!

Molly pointed out art pieces on the first and second floor lobby areas. Overall there are 750 pieces of art in the Minneapolis hospital. Many of them have been made in collaboration with patients at the hospital.

In the Star Studio on level 1, kiddos and their families can watch shows or play bingo. They've partnered with the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Science Museum of Minnesota, Children's Theater Company, the Guthrie and more on shows and art. "We try to make it as fun an experience as possible," said Molly.
Seven months ago, the Minneapolis Children's was certified as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. "It sets us apart," said Molly.

The Minneapolis hospital is also one of the first to have an in-hospital Ronald McDonald House. The Minneapolis Children's has the heart surgery clinic, while the St. Paul campus has all the neurosciences. In Minneapolis, the hospital has an in-patient cancer center on the 7th floor and treats pediatric blood disorders on the first floor. There is a kid infusion center. "We treat a majority of the kids in the Twin Cities with cancer," Molly remarked. The U of M Children's Hospital (formerly Amplatz) handles all transplants.

We told Molly that most of our donations go to hospitals that our group members have a connection to. Tesha's nephew, Chase, has been treated at Children's for kidney disease his whole life, and his mother was treated there for leukemia as a girl. "It's been an opportunity to give to the communities that have given to us," stated Amy.

"Thank you again for your generous donation for our kids! When I dropped off the hats with our patient care manager of the Clinic, she Ooo'd and Aww'd at the beautiful workmanship and colorful designs. 'The kids will love these!'" said Molly.

"Here is a link to Children's Wish List which we update on a regular basis - as we get closer to the colder months of the year, we may see more clothing items: http://www.childrensmn.org/giving/giving-toys-and-gifts/wish-list".

- There is an average of 217 kids who visit the Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic and C.H. Robinson Infusion Center each week.
- Last year, Children's had 345,288 outpatient clinic visits and 13,024 inpatient admissions



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