Holiday wish lists make Children's of Mississippi giving easy

File photo

Child life specialist Tiffany Key brings Christmas gifts to Children's of Mississippi patient Angel Martinez of Forest.

JACKSON – Making Christmas wishes come true for patients in Mississippi’s only children’s hospital is as easy as a few taps on a cellphone screen.

As in 2020, Children’s of Mississippi’s holiday wish lists for toys and supplies are online through Amazon and Walmart. Links to the wish lists can be found at umc.edu/inkinddonations.

“The easiest and most helpful way to support Children’s of Mississippi patients this holiday season is to shop online from our wish lists and have gifts shipped to the children’s hospital on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus,” said Jen Hospodor, director of community development, annual giving and alumni engagement. “Contactless delivery keeps our donors and our patients safer.”

The Amazon and Walmart wish lists include “toys” and “needs” such as snacks for waiting families, clothing and personal care items.

“We worked with our clinical teams, UMMC’s Office of Patient Experience and our child life staff to carefully curate a list of items our patients and families ask for and need most frequently,” Hospodor said.

The range of ages – birth to 18 years old – covered by Children’s of Mississippi care is reflected in the items on the wish lists. Baby dolls and Barbies, trucks and dinosaurs, activity books, art projects and personal care items are on the list. Many of the items included are functional, such as sensory toys for babies and pajama pants, socks and slippers for children and teens.

Toys are needed all year at Children’s of Mississippi. Each child hospitalized at Christmas will receive gifts geared toward their ages and interests. During the rest of the year, toys brighten birthdays for hospitalized children and serve as incentives for completing treatments and healthy behavior.

"We are always amazed at the generosity of Mississippians,” said child life specialist Tiffany Key. “Their gifts of toys and supplies for our patients and their families help the children’s hospital all year long.”

Gifts to Children’s of Mississippi come from donors of all ages, Hospodor said. “It is heartwarming how so many people, from children to grandparents, want to show kindness to children who are sick or injured and their families.”

While the wish lists note what’s needed by children’s hospital patients and their families, there are also items Children’s of Mississippi cannot accept. These include:

Wrapped donations or goodie bags. “Because each patient’s condition is unique, wrapped gifts must be unwrapped to ensure they're appropriate,” Key said.

• Gift cards

• Used items, including those that are gently used, due to infection control policies.

• Religious items

• Toy weapons

• Violent video games and movies

• Candy

• Latex balloons

• Riding toys such as bikes, scooters and pogo sticks that may not be appropriate for sick and injured children.

• Toy kitchen sets and toy appliances

Personal delivery of gifts or donations directly to patients is not permitted. Deliveries from groups that cannot shop online are being scheduled on a case-by-case basis.

For questions about in-kind giving, call (601) 213-8054 or email inkinddonations@umc.edu.

About Children’s of Mississippi

Children’s of Mississippi, part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, encompasses all of the pediatric services available at UMMC and at clinical sites throughout Mississippi. At the heart of these services is the state’s only hospital devoted exclusively to the care and treatment of sick and injured children. The Children’s of Mississippi network brings specialized clinical care for children to communities across the state, making it easier for families to get the treatment they need closer to home.

About the University of Mississippi Medical Center

UMMC is the state’s only academic medical center. Its education, research and health care missions share the objectives of improving the health of the state’s population and eliminating health disparities.

Located in Jackson, UMMC encompasses seven health science schools, including medicine, nursing, health related professions, dentistry, pharmacy, graduate studies and population health. The Medical Center’s health care enterprise includes the state’s only Level I trauma center, only children’s hospital, and only organ and bone marrow transplant program. The Medical Center also is home to a Telehealth Center of Excellence, one of two in the nation.

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