Honesty. We’ve said it many times before, but with these blog posts we need to be 100% open and honest. This post was sparked by some recent questions we received from one of our most valuable set of artists. The question was something along the lines of, “Why do kids receive so many cards? I thought it was one card to one child?”
To be honest, we can’t make any promises and we technically have NO idea how many cards are being given to each individual patient. Based on that unknown, we could say in a “worse” case scenario some of our partners could have a child who is spending a birthday or other special day in the hospital/home and they could give multiple cards to that one child in order to encourage them when they need it most. But looking into all the nonprofits we partner with and all of the hospitals we reach, that’s highly unlikely and very rare.
In a recent social post we quoted a mother who said, “He really loved reading each card, and his “card wall” makes him feel so loved and not alone….Thank you again from the bottom of my heart and for all the hope and joy you give to so many!”
In the picture you can see a combination of a wide variety of cards across his room. It’s interesting. Some people may look at that picture and say it’s great that we’re encouraging this patient when they need it most, while others may look at it and compare that to other pictures. And just to clarify, those weren’t ALL cards from us. We worked with another nonprofit to help a child who’s overcoming their condition to help that family decorate the patient’s room after some of the initial testing/procedures. The people who originally were wondering why VIPs (very important patient/person) had so many cards may begin to think of some of the other examples:
The people who weren’t excited about the boy having so many cards will look at the pictures above and will be concerned that each person is holding so many.
With most of our pictures, you’ll see someone holding multiple cards. As mentioned previously, this is a blog post, so you know we’re being 100% open and honest. We’ll provide a detailed explanation on why you may see so many cards for one person. And, fair warning, there are a lot of reasons so it may carry on a bit.
First off, a lot of the posts in this blog and our social sites that had children in them were from special deliveries. We’ve mentioned it before, but we connected with a lot of those families via hashtags on Instagram. In those letters, we tell the kids, “A lot of kids who are in hospitals simply get one card, but since you were/are a special VIPs (Very Important Patient/Person) I decided to give you a total of __ quality cards.” The benefit of shipping to the kids directly and delivering more cards is that we could reach more kids across the globe going through a variety of health conditions. Also, we didn’t have to worry about some of the hospitals more formal HIPAA regulations that we know all about, #InTheRoom. To be safe, we still double check to get the parents’ permission to share the pictures, but that’s why on Instagram and Facebook there are more direct posts of kids with multiple cards.
Secondly, based on patient privacy – #InTheRoom – some of our partners simply worked to get a couple of children to pose with a bunch of cards. Those children aren’t going to keep all of those cards but are simply posing with the cards so our partners can return it to us, and people can see that children are receiving them.
That’s one of the results from our promise of rewarding our partners with the entertainment systems. We’ve also seen more cases where the staff either pose themselves or have their animals pose with the pictures so that we can see they received and appreciated their cards.
That being said, things are a bit different during this COVID-19 situation, so hospitals have varying patient levels. We’ve told them they can modify their usual pattern and give multiple cards to an individual child and/or give some of the additional cards to staff as everyone’s way of saying thank you for their dedication.
Even with these types of deliveries, that’s NOT where most of our cards are going.
Please remember one of our main hash tags, #EVERYCARDCOUNTS. Yes, we track exactly where ALL the cards are coming from (e.g. so far, Independent Artists have made 20.58% of the total amount of cards), but all the cards are important. We work with our partners and ask them to promise to hand deliver all the cards we send.
We work with a variety of different departments with our partner locations such as Donations, Child Life, Volunteer Services, but they all work together to hand deliver your cards to the patients and families. As discussed, based on the tight patient privacy rules (#intheroom), our partners have to go through additional steps to show what’s more likely to happen with your cards. We’ve started to receive a couple more pictures from our partners since we made the promise about purchasing the entertainment systems, but that still doesn’t fully encompass the true impact your cards are having. Usually it’s a volunteer or one staff member at a small to midsize location walking around and delivering a card to a child or senior by themselves. We’ll never be able to get pictures that show the impact of your cards, but these ones are a little bit CLOSER TO THE TRUTH.
Thank you again for continuing to make cards and respecting the families’ and patients’ privacy, even though that means you can’t see all the smiles that you’re producing.