As you travel through parenthood, you’ll probably become more familiar with a local hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department than you’d like. And, more often than not, you will turn up totally unprepared for a stay.
Smiles2U was created by three North Shore mums who saw a need for care packages for children, along with their parents and carers.
Michelle Key, Michelle Barry and Sarah Collison have all experienced the A&E Department first hand and know how valuable these packs are for those worrying times. Their Smiles2U kid’s pack consists of items including colouring-in books, sticker books and crayons, while the pack for mums contains things such as hand cream, lip gloss, a bar of chocolate and lovely teas. The ladies’ mission is simple – to bring a smile to your hospital stay.
We sat down with the creators of North Shore Mums Smiles2U to find out more about this wonderful new initiative.
So, tell us a little about Smiles2U
Michelle Key – North Shores Mums Smiles2U is all about bringing a smile and joy to kids who are in hospital. Each year thousands of children are hospitalised, which can be a scary, daunting and, at times, lonely experience. Smiles2U has created fun activity packs for kids that are filled with things for them to do and keep them occupied while they undergo their treatment. Our packs include items, such as colouring books, sticker books and crayons, giving kids lots of fun things to play with.
Tell us about the pack you have created for mums as well…
Sarah Collison – We recognised how stressful it can be for mums, too, and so decided to put together a little care pack for them. We’ve filled these with yummy chocolates, soothing teas, hand cream and other goodies, just to help make sure that they are being cared for and looked after as well.
Is there a way for people to become involved in this initiative?
Michelle Barry – Yes. We welcome any assistance people may want to provide, whether it’s donating items for the kid’s or mum’s packs or donating their time to help with packing and delivery. We see this as being a great community initiative and a way of being able to support one another during tough times.
What inspired you to come up with this idea?
Michelle Barry – Being mums ourselves, we’ve each been through that scenario of having to rush to the Emergency Department late at night and finding ourselves completely unprepared for the potential length of stay. We started asking other mums and staff at our local hospital about their experiences and realised there was a real need for something like this. After a few positive meetings with the Paediatric Inpatient unit at Royal North Shore Hospital we decided to start making some trial packs to get feedback from kids and mums.
Where do you source all the goodies for these care packs?
Michelle Key – To date, we have been overwhelmed with donations from our own community of North Shore Mums. We did a couple of call-outs in social media and already have enough items to create more than 50 kid’s packs. Many of the mums who have donated to us have been in a situation in Emergency themselves without care items on hand. Or, like one of our Smiles2U mums, has a child in hospital often and says how she would have loved to have received care packs like ours. We would love to have some corporate sponsors as well to enable us to expand this initiative into other departments of the hospital, and possibly other hospitals.
Donate products and samples. Are you interested in sampling your product to North Shore mums and their children? If you have a product that would be suitable for a kid’s or mum’s bag, we’d love to hear from you.
Corporate Sponsor. Can you help us cover the administration, packaging and distribution costs? In return, you can include a flyer in the bag and you will also receive a logo on the thankyou page of the North Shore Mums website.
Let’s work together to help put smiles on the faces of children and their carers in hospital!
Link to full article: http://www.northshoremums.com.au/north-shore-mums-launches-smiles2u/