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The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

WCHS students make cards for hospitalized kids

WCHS+students+create+handmade+cards+to+send+to+the+Cards+for+the+Hospitalized+Kids+organization+during+the+clubs+meeting+on+Sept.+28%2C+20244%2C+in+room+249.
Photo courtesy of Aydan Lee
WCHS students create handmade cards to send to the Cards for the Hospitalized Kids organization during the club’s meeting on Sept. 28, 20244, in room 249.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), almost 5.2 million kids are hospitalized a year, with each staying an average of four days. For anyone, being cooped up in a hospital room is lonely, but for young children who are left without the ability to play or be with friends, it is even more so.

Jen Rubino recognized this issue and founded the nonprofit Cards for Hospitalized Kids (CPHK). The organization hopes to bring joy to kids stuck in the hospital, who are usually deprived of normal childhood experiences.

“Cards for Hospitalized Kids is a certified nonprofit organization that once a month throughout America, delivers hand-drawn cards to hospitalized kids,” Rubino said. “Anyone can make handmade cards following our guidelines and send them to CFHK for distribution.”

Rubino founded the nonprofit after her multiple experiences of being one of those lonely, isolated kids stuck in the hospital. After receiving a handmade card from a hospital volunteer, she realized how much it impacted her and how she wanted to give that same spark of joy to kids and teens like her who needed it.

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“As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the hospital, undergoing over 20 surgeries. Being in the hospital became a regular part of my life, and it showed me how hard it was to be a kid constantly hospitalized.” Rubino said. “During one surgery, I received a handmade card from a volunteer, and it brightened my day. From then on, I decided that I wanted to give that same experience to other hospitalized kids.”

At WCHS, many students have been contributing to this nonprofit organization through one of the clubs. Sophomore Madison Shapiro decided to start the CFHK club, partnering with the organization. She wanted to do the same thing that Rubino had been doing: impact hospitalized kids’ lives.

“I started the Cards For Hospitalized Kids Club because there were clubs that did similar things but not exactly what I wanted to do,” Shapiro said. “I decided to start a completely new club because I was already involved in that type of volunteer work outside of school. I wanted to incorporate that into school so I could do it with my peers and friends.”

After each meeting, the cards that are made are sent to CFHK’s address in Chicago and given out. All cards that are made get mailed as long as they are appropriate and not written specifically to one kid, so that anyone can receive it and feel as if it had been written for them.

“We are partnered with the national CFHK organization,” Shapiro said. “The way it works is that people from WCHS will give me the cards, and then I send them to the organization which will then distribute them among the hospitals nationwide.”

Shapiro hopes that people will take even just two minutes out of their day to create a card that impacts a kid, just as it did for Rubino. Shapiro knows that even though it can be tough to find inspiration for a card, it is worth it to see a child smile.

“I wish people knew how easy and simple it is to write a letter,” Shapiro said. “You get to do the fun part, creating the cards, and then all you have to do is give them to me. You can make cards at any time or any place, we do all the work, sending and distributing.”

Rubino has personally delivered the cards to kids in the hospital and has seen the impact it has had on them. After being in the hospital for days and oftentimes battling through unimaginable pain, receiving a card with a positive and encouraging message gives the kids so much hope.

“I have delivered cards and seen the kids’ reactions, and it is very uplifting and encouraging for them, as seen in the photos on our website,” Rubino said. “While some may think it’s just a card, it truly impacts the kids who receive them. Receiving a card helps brighten their day and shows them that someone is thinking of them.”

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About the Contributor
Amari Suissa, Internal Communications Manager
Amari Suissa is currently a sophomore at WCHS and this is her second year taking journalism. Amari was initially interested in taking this class because she wanted to be an author when she was young. In her free time, Amari likes to watch the MLB and NFL, play softball, and hang out with family.

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