Home Hudson CountyBayonne How To Send Care Packages to Local Hospitals During the Holiday Season

How To Send Care Packages to Local Hospitals During the Holiday Season

by Cristina Lombardi
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There are many thoughtful ways to give back to your local community this holiday season and sending a care package to a local hospital is a great way to start. While care packages have evolved greatly over the years, their ultimate goal, to spread kindness and provide support, has remained the same. A care package is one of the best ways to support the infirm, elderly, or anyone in need. When an individual is admitted to the hospital, it can be an isolating and lonely time, especially if there are strict visitation rules in place. The simple act of creating a care package for a loved one or a stranger can bring much-needed comfort and raise spirits enormously. From get-well package ideas, and a list of local hospitals, The Hoboken Girl put together the following guide on how to make a care package that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

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Brief History of Care Packages

Today, “care packages” are used to describe an assortment of treats, games, and self-care items sent to cheer up someone who may be sick or in need. Originally, however, care packages had a more consequential significance — they were meant to save lives. The original concept dates back to 1945 during World War II when the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe(CARE) created a program to provide food relief to Europe, where millions were in danger of starvation. These CARE packages were repurposed from the U.S. Army’s “10-in-1” food rations, which were designed to contain enough for ten soldiers to eat one full meal. As time went on, the concept evolved and today is used in many different contexts. While the majority of care packages are meant to be distributed to hospitals and the elderly other popular types include care packages for military personnel and college students.

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Did You Know?

The original ‘CARE’ package contained 9.8 pounds of stews and hashes, 6.5 pounds of cereal and biscuits, 3.6 pounds of fruit and jam pudding, 2.3 pounds of vegetables, 3.9 pounds of sugar and candy, 1.1 pounds of cocoa, coffee and beverage powders, 0.8 pounds of evaporated milk, 0.5 pounds of preserved butter, 0.4 pounds of cheese, a pack of cigarettes, and chewing gum.

Types of Care Packages

Food/Comforting Meals Boxes

Hospitals are definitely not known for their appealing food — and eating the same, plain meals each day can feel monotonous. Assuming no allergies or special dietary restrictions, homemade food is a wonderful way to brighten someone’s day and fill their tummies with deliciousness. Sending homemade baked goods or using a food service like Cheryl’s (cookies), Fannie May, or The Popcorn Factory is always a great idea.

Warm + Cozy Items

One of the most important parts of a hospital recovery is getting adequate rest. And with rest comes much time spent laying around — which is best done in the most comfortable loungewear. There’s no better way to warm up someone’s heart and soul than with a cozy pair of pajamas, wool socks, thermal robe, weighted or heated blanket, stuffed animals, or super-soft blankets. Sending comforting items such as these is sure to aid in a speedy and cozy recovery.

Entertainment

After being cooped up in a small room for days on end, many patients tend to feel restless and antsy. One great way to keep their minds active and pass the time is with entertaining board games, magazines, puzzle cards, books, magazines, stickers, Mad Libs, coloring books, play-doh, legos, and word search games. These gifts will help take their minds off of any discomfort they’re feeling and distract them from their hospital stay. If laughter is the best medicine, then a care package full of humor and entertainment must certainly be the best gift for those in the hospital. This gift is sure to get the laughter going for everyone.

Handwritten Cards or Drawings

In a time where technology has taken center stage and everything is virtual, there is something extra special about receiving a handwritten note. We suggest conveying warm wishes by creating hand-written greeting cards or drawings with words of encouragement, get well wishes, positive affirmations, and bright cheery colors.  A card is always a nice keepsake and a unique one that comes from the heart.

Home Decor Decorations

Add a touch of color and warmth to an otherwise dull and mundane hospital environment. Spruce up someone’s hospital room with simple touches that remind them of home. Room decorations, such as window art, balloons, posters, and pictures of pretty destinations can make a huge difference and raise spirits.

Stay Practical

If you find yourself getting stuck on ideas for care packages, remember that it’s the thought that counts. If a person is admitted to a hospital last minute, the patient may have forgotten a few things at home. A practical care package can aid them with everyday necessities, such as lip balm, bottles of water, tissues, notebooks, pens, and pencils. Items for everyday use may not sound overly exciting, but sometimes they’re what someone needs most.

Gift Cards

If you are supporting a caregiver who is at the hospital with a loved one, gift cards can go a long way. According to the Caregiver Action Network, caregiving can take a lasting toll on personal income. You can ease that burden with gift cards to local grocery stores, local house cleaners, and other useful services. While a gift card may not be the first idea that comes to mind for someone aiming to be very considerate, it’s absolutely practical.

Delivery Services

Another option is to use delivery services available that will do most of the work for you. A few of the top online one-stop shops for gift baskets include 1-800 Flowers.com, and 1-800 Baskets.com.  If you love Do-It-Yourself projects, there are plenty of places to go for inspiration like Pinterest, Real Simple Magazine, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or even your local arts and crafts stores.

Hospital Care Package Considerations

Be sure to look into and follow the hospital’s rules. Depending on where a patient is staying, there may be specific regulations about when you can visit and what you can deliver.

See More: How to Support Local Fire and Rescue Squads in Essex County

Where To Send Care Packages Locally

  • Bayonne Medical Center | 29 E 29th Street, Bayonne
  • Christ Hospital | 176 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City
  • Hoboken University Medical Center | 308 Willow Avenue, Hoboken
  • HMH Palisades Medical Center | 7600 River Road, North Bergen
  • Clara Maass Medical Center | 1 Clara Maass Drive, Belleville
  • Hudson Regional Hospital | 55 Meadowlands Parkway, Secaucus
  • St. Mary’s General Hospital | 350 Boulevard, Passaic
  • Saint Michael’s Medical Center | 111 Central Avenue, Newark
  • Select Specialty Hospital — Northeast NJ | 96 Parkway, Rochelle Park
  • University Hospital | 150 Bergen Street, Newark
  • Mountainside Medical Center | 1 Bay Avenue, Montclair
  • Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center | 94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center | 201 Lyons Avenue, Newark
  • Hackensack Meridian Health Pascack Valley Medical Center | 250 Old Hook Road, Westwood
  • The Valley Hospital | 223 N Van Dien Avenue, Ridgewood
  • St. Joseph’s University Medical Center | 703 Main Street, Paterson
  • Atlantic Health | 33 Bleeker Street, Millburn
  • CareWell Health Medical Center | 300 Central Avenue, East Orange
  • Columbus Hospital | 495 N 13th Street, Newark
  • Overlook Medical Center | Summit
  • Caligor Medical Hospital 200 Seaview Diver #1, Secaucus,
  • Society of the Valley Hospital | 15 Essex Road # 204, Paramus
  • St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital | 224 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne
  • Kindred Hospital East New Jersey | 350 Boulevard, Passaic
  • Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital | 635 County Avenue, Secaucus
  • Englewood Health | 350 Engle Street, Englewood
  • Holy Name Medical Center | 718 Teaneck Road, Teaneck
  • Chilton Medical Center | 97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains
  • LTACH CareOne at Hackensack UMC, Pascack Valley
  • Atlantic Health System | 2040 Millburn Avenue Suite 203, Maplewood
  • Morristown Medical Center | 100 Madison Avenue, Morristown
  • Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital | 25 Pocono Road, Denville
  • Hackensack University Medical Center | 30 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack
  • Essex County Hospital Center | 204 Grove Avenue, Cedar Grove

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