When you are stuck in the hospital and you are sick and not feeling well, it is easy to worry about everything. As anyone who has been in the hospital knows, it also gets extremely boring.
The last time I was in the hospital, a child-life specialist came by and brought a craft. It was a little pillow I could sew and the pillow still sits on my dresser. It came in a bag that said, “Made with love from volunteers.”
This gave me an idea to start a club called STICH with three friends to make craft kits for kids and teens in the hospital. It became a full-fledged school club three months later with over 40 members!
STICH provides teens and children in hospitals with craft activities, treat kits, cards and blankets. There are many programs like this for children, but there are not many for teens. The idea is to create crafts for teens that are complex enough to maintain their interest and serve as a welcome distraction while in the hospital.
My goal is to eventually provide these types of kits to doctor’s offices and hospitals. I spend a lot of time being observed after taking certain medications because of the side effects, as well as just waiting for doctors in general, so it would be great to have this type of distraction.
When I am in the hospital, I love the balloons that visitors bring because I cannot have flowers due to my asthma, but a craft or even colored pencils is a great gift. I do not always feel up to reading but having something to do with my hands sometimes helps pass the time as well.
Starting the club was not just about having something to do. I was also touched by the kindness of a stranger. Knowing that someone cares and wants to help is important. Being sick in the hospital is no fun, but I try to look for silver linings – well, at least some of the time.