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How You Can Help

How You Can Help

Service Projects for Patients and Families


Craft Kits

We are always in need of craft kits for our patients. Craft kits should be prepackaged in zipper-lock bags with all necessary materials and instructions included (scissors are provided by the hospital). All materials must be new. Craft kits can be made for a wide variety of age groups, depending on the level of difficulty for each project. Including glue dots is helpful if glue is needed.

Here is a list of ideas for such kits:

  • Beads and shoestring/ribbon for making jewelry (large beads for young children)
  • Supplies needed to make a bead buddy 
  • Coloring books and small crayon packs. The following websites provide free printable coloring pages.
  • Craft sticks to make pictures frames (include sequins, fabric scraps and other decorations, as well as glue sticks)
  • Pre-cut hanging door signs (like hotels use) with crayons or markers for decorating
  • Dream-catcher hoop with yarn, string, beads and directions
  • Friendship bracelets with thread and directions
  • Blank greeting cards with markers to decorate
  • Plastic needlepoint canvas with design, needle and yarn
  • Pipe cleaners and directions for making animals, flowers, etc.
  • Paper bag and materials with instructions to make a hand puppet
  • “Stained glass” activity: tissue paper scraps, glue and Plexiglas sheets (rounded corners)
  • Stickers and small sheets of paper
  • Cardboard sewing card (with holes punches around the edges) and yarn, shoe laces, etc.
  • Blank paper-doll cutouts with crayons or markers
  • Blank paper book with stickers, markers and crayons for children to make their own stories

We love fun prepackaged craft and activity kits. Suggested kits include Crayola®, Imagine Nation, Creativity Kids and Klutz®.

Fun Chapstick Drive

Scented chapsticks are used throughout the hospital, especially in our outpatient surgery area, where children can pick a flavor and scent to rub on their mask that gives them “sleepy medicine.” 

Stuffed Animal Fundraiser

Help us provide a new stuffed animal to children and teens who are in need of a soft friend. For infection control hospital policy requires only new stuffed animals with tags still attached. (We are unable to accept gently-used stuffed animals due to infection control efforts.)

Book Drive

We have a high need for board books and sound button books for children younger than 3 years old.

Gently Used Infant Clothes

Help provide clothing for newborn babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  Onesies, sleepers, and infant clothes in sizes preemie through 3-months are needed.  Because the NICU has its own laundry facilities and can ensure the clothes are cleaned according to policy, they are the only department in the hospital able to accept gently used clothing.

New Infant Toys

Help us provide rattles for our youngest patients. All of these must be new. (We are unable to accept gently-used infant toys due to infection control efforts.) Lightweight rattles are especially welcome.

Bandage Drive (Latex-free and non-medicated bandages only)

Our patients love fun bandages! CURAD® and Nexcare™ are some of the best. Latex-free and non-medicated bandages only, please.

Below is the poem we have on a few of our bandage boxes.

Pokes are no fun to give or to get
No one likes them one little bit
So here’s a box of special bandages just for you
Will you pick Bugs Bunny or a fun tattoo?

Themed Donation Drives

Coordinate a giving drive for donations of new items often used by the children's hospital. New, unwrapped donations that would be appreciated include:

  • Lego Kits. Lego kits can often keep our kids busy and distracted from their medical worries for hours.
  • Infant and Toddler Toys. Something we can never have enough of, especially rattles!
  • Play-Doh. Kids love to play with Play-Doh in our playrooms.
  • Crayon and Marker Drive. Kids at the hospital use lots of art supplies! We use crayons (small packs of 4 or 8 crayons work best), markers (bold, thin, washable, Sharpies), watercolors (washable Crayola are great), colored pencils and construction paper. All supplies must be new. We like Crayola and RoseArt.
  • Embroidery Floss. We make many friendship bracelets.
  • School Supplies. Calculators, rulers, pencils, pens, notebooks, backpacks, scissors, bottles of glue, glue sticks and glue dots are appreciated.

Poke Box and Bingo Prizes

When kids get a shot, or “poke,” they get to pick a prize from the poke box. We are in need of small prizes for the poke boxes. We also use these prizes for bingo games. Some ideas are sticker books, fun gel pens and note pads, matchbox/hot wheels cars, playdough, small Lego kits, small craft kits, yes/no books, koosh balls, slinkies, silly putty and fun toys for kids of all ages. Bath books and items that are safe for kids under three years old are also appreciated. All items must be latex-free.

Things to Make

  • Fun fleece blankets for all ages. Please make sure all blankets are laundered before donating them.
  • Fun print material standard size pillow cases
  • Fun pattern tote bags

Family Needs

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital serves families from a large geographic region. Families near and far often have many needs when their child is hospitalized unexpectedly.

  • Restaurant gift certificates (McDonald’s, Burger King, Qdoba and Pizza Hut are popular) provide a great break from hospital food for patients, and also help give parents a break for dinner, especially when their child has been in the hospital for a long time.
  • Gas cards from Meijer, BP, Shell, etc., for families who are driving back and forth to the hospital.

Renucci Hospitality House

Contact Kirk Bart at 616.391.1787 for more information on providing dinner for families staying at the Hospitality House. Additional ideas for a service group include baking cookies, desserts and assisting with cleaning.

Wish List

We have a list of Wish Gift items available for purchase through our Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation Web site. Visit and click on “Wish List.”


If you’re interested in hosting a fundraiser for Helen DeVos Children's Hospital with your school, church or community group, please contact our foundation office at 616.391.2000 for information about this process.

Thank you for considering Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as a recipient of a service project. If you have questions about this list of suggested projects, please contact:

Child Life Services