Helping Families of Hospitalized Children Feel at Home for the Holidays
November 20th, 2018......
In late 2010, young Greyson's family spent an unexpected and difficult time in a children's hospital during what is normally considered a magical time of year - the holiday season. Friends and family gathered for weeks to sit, sooth, and eventually say goodbye to the sweet boy. Their time in the hospital was marked by a special care package from family members that contained everything needed to decorate the hospital room for Christmas. All who visited were struck by the fact that Greyson's was the only hospital room with decorations and that it made such a difference when you stepped into his room!
Today, The Greyson Project continues the tribute to Greyson by bringing joy to other families who find themselves in the hospital during the holiday season. Each year a growing number of families donate decorations to brighten what is otherwise a very difficult time in others' lives.
Horizon West resident Lindsey Kirkland has been a key player in helping The Greyson Project to persist and grow throughout the years. She's actively involved not only with getting the word out about this grassroots effort, but also in executing on the mission by collecting bags and making deliveries. Because of her close involvement, Lindsey has seen the impact of The Greyson Project's work firsthand.
“The Greyson Project has been such a special way to connect with our community.” Lindsey adds, “It’s been so neat to see our friends and family bring so much joy to kids and their families during this special time of year. As a two-time childhood cancer survivor and having been in the hospital during Christmas, The Greyson Project has quickly become so close to my heart and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Along with other volunteers in Orlando, New York, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Phoenix, Richmond (VA), Albuquerque, and Fort Lauderdale, Lindsey helps The Greyson Project service 23 hospitals around the US, and they expect to see that number grow before Christmas arrives. In 2017 The Greyson Project was able to provide 979 bags to children not able to be home for the holidays. In Orlando, local hospitals served include Arnold Palmer Hospital, Florida Hospital and Neumors Children's Hospital.
How You Can Help
By donating decorations, you can brighten the lives of children and their families that find themselves in a hospital room rather than home for the holidays. Truly, everyone wants to feel at home for the holidays, and your donations can help!
Assemble a Donation Bag
Assemble a bag of holiday decorations for one hospital room. Get creative and enjoy pouring your heart into your bag. Choose a theme or pick out whatever appeals to you (and kids)! The donation bag should have a minimum value of $20-$30 and consist of brand new items from the approved items list. Please leave the tags on all items so hospital staff can verify contents and materials are safe for recipients.
Please keep in mind, however, that certain items are not permitted -- please no food, stuffed animals, real plants or garlands, and no glass (glass lights are accepted). When you are done preparing your gift bag, print a tag, fill it out and attach it to your bag.
Drop it Off by Dec 21, 2018
Bring your bag to ScribbleSpace (13790 Bridgewater Crossings Blvd, Windermere, FL 34786) in Horizon West, Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm no later than December 21st. Each week, The Greyson Project volunteers will collect all the bags from drop locations and deliver them to Children's Hospitals. This helps keep a supply of bags to accommodate families who unexpectedly find themselves in the hospital anytime this holiday season. Note: Other drop off locations are also available outside of Horizon West and listed on their website.
Cash or monetary donations are not accepted, but by donating a bag, you can make one hospital room feel a little more like home for the holidays.