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Donation and Activity Guidelines

Our patients and staff greatly appreciate community donations and volunteer hours. When considering donations of items or services to the hospital, please note the following descriptions of what we are able to accept in the way of donations. There are some restrictions on items that can be donated, due to infection control standards and general patient safety.

What we can accept:

  • New, unused items in original packaging that have been purchased within the last three months.
  • New books.
  • New, unused handmade items (caps, pillows, pillow cases, scrub type pants, quilts etc.)
  • Monetary donations.

What we cannot accept:

  • Used toys.
  • New stuffed toys more than 18-inches tall.
  • Stuffed toys from vending machines or carnivals.
  • Food and/or candy.
  • Cards (hand made or commercially produced).
  • Latex balloons or anything containing latex.
  • Sports cards.
  • Toys with violent themes or that are insensitive to a culturally diverse population.
  • Medications, medical equipment.

Donations of items can be made through the Howard Hospital Foundation.

Below are notes on some of our most frequent requests:

Donations to Children

Hospitalized children have special health needs, so we must be extra careful with the types of gifts we can accept. For example, dust, smells (such as cigarette smoke and perfume) and animal hair can be harmful to children who are already sick.

Donations of Toys

Toys and child-appropriate gift items are helpful for our patients throughout the year, but we do not have a large pediatric unit or very many pediatric patients who are in the hospital for a long period of time. Donated items may be used as gifts to individual patients or utilized in playrooms, support groups, or therapy sessions. While a variety of toys and games are appreciated, see the bulleted list above for what we can and cannot accept as well as our Pediatric Emergency Department's wish list below. To protect patient privacy, toys cannot be given to patients by the donor.

Wish List

  • Squishy farm critters.
  • Getting Ready for School File Folder Games.
  • Washable bold board markers.
  • Perforated writing pads, 8.5x11.75 legal ruled.
  • Double-sided dry erase lap boards.
  • Milkshake straws.

Visits and Hospital Activities

We have a patient- and family-centered philosophy to our care, and we recognize the important role family and friends play in the healing process. We try to make our visiting hours as flexible and patient-directed as possible. Family and primary support persons (as defined by the patient) are welcome to visit any time.

There are some units or areas where a patient’s requests, clinical needs or unit logistics require visitation limitations. To respect the privacy of our patients and to comply with Federal patient privacy laws, individuals who are not visiting a specific patient with permission are not permitted in patient care areas.

During flu season especially, we recommend practicing proper hand hygiene and other infection control measures when visiting the hospital.

Music, pet therapy and other activities can offer comfort and healing for patients. Any proposed program or activity that would take place in the hospital and involve our patients (e.g., holiday carols, musical serenade, class project) must be planned with sufficient notice for staff coordination. Please allow three weeks’ notice. Due to limited resources, we are not able to accommodate all requests. To explore a program or activity at the hospital, contact our volunteer services office at 410-884-4580.

Monetary Donations to the Hospital

The hospital relies on the generous gifts from our community. Monetary donations can be made online. If you would like to make a specific unit, caregiver or staff member aware of your gift, our Foundation staff will coordinate this.