Donating toys or other items
Thank you for your interest in donating items to Gundersen Health System pediatric patients. Your generous gift can make a huge difference to the patients we serve.
Please take a few minutes to review our donation guidelines, as we must always keep patient safety and well-being our top priority. These guidelines will help ensure the donation is one we can accept. Please email us if you have any questions.
We appreciate the opportunity to make our patients smile and help them realize their strength during challenging medical visits.
Child Life Specialists
Gundersen Health System
Monetary donations help us fund education and distraction items we use every day with our pediatric patients. From teaching dolls (to show a child what a port-a-cath looks like), to mesh stress balls (to help a child through an IV start), our child life specialists rely on these necessary tools throughout our hospitals and clinics.
To make an online monetary donation to our Child Life Services department, please include in the "special notes about this gift" section that it is for Child Life Services.
Toy donation guidelines
To prevent infection and ensure patient safety:
- Toys must be new, unused and in original packaging.
- Items must be unwrapped (no gift wrapping please).
- Stuffed animals must be new with tags and no small pieces (e.g. beaded eyes, scarves, hats).
- If new stuffed animals are stored for a short time prior to donation, please ensure they are not exposed to allergens such as smoke, dust, pollen or animal fur.
We cannot accept:
- Toys that promote violent or aggressive behavior (e.g. violent video games)
- Stuffed toys with small pellets or beans (e.g. Beanie Babies)
- Food items (e.g. candy, gum)
Donors are not allowed to go onto the Pediatric Unit to hand out gifts, room-to-room, due to confidentiality. We see pediatric patients in a wide variety of clinic and hospital settings. While we do our best to accommodate donations targeted at a specific population or department, there are times we need to spread donations out across the organization to ensure all children are getting the support they need for difficult medical experiences.
When you are ready to make your donation, fill out our online donation form. A child life specialist will contact you to schedule your donation time.
Ideal delivery times:
- 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Unfortunately, we CANNOT personally accept deliveries during evenings, weekends or holidays.
- If you need to bring your donation during the weekend or evening hours:
- Items can be dropped off at the Information Services Desk in the Hospital Lobby.
- Staff may ask you questions to ensure your donation meets our guidelines.
- Your donations will be kept in a safe spot until we get them the next business day.
Current high needs
Project ideas for groups or schools
If your organization or school would like to donate, below are some project ideas that have worked well in the past:
- Lego set drive – This is our No. 1 wish list item and we run out of Lego sets quickly. Kids LOVE getting small to medium size Lego sets as a prize for a difficult procedure or to help keep them busy during a long hospital admission. Sets for boys and girls are appreciated.
- Latex free band-aid drive – Collect a variety of latex-free band-aids for boys and girls. These are used in several areas of the clinic and hospital after pokes.
- Gift card drive – Raise funds to purchase $5 to $10 gift cards to be given to patients as prizes for difficult procedures in the clinic and hospital. Popular gift cards include: Target, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Amazon, Nintendo E-Store, X-Box, iTunes, Playstation, Subway and Culvers)
- Board book drive – We encourage reading! While we can wipe off board books in between patients, they deteriorate quickly and frequently need to be replaced.
- Ear buds/headphones drive – When kids are in the hospital for a long time, they often request headphones after leaving theirs at home.
- Fleece tie blankets – Kids in the hospital love and appreciate the gift of a fleece blanket. They bring warmth and color to a hospital bed. We are especially in need of larger blankets with patterns teens would enjoy. We have limited storage. Please contact the child life department to confirm the number of blankets we can accept.