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24 Sep 2017


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By Gracie Carroll

How To Give Gifts That Make A Difference for SickKids #GetBetterGifts

By Gracie Carroll


Decorating holiday cookies at SickKids

Although I’ve actively supported as many fundraising initiatives for SickKids as possible since I launched my blog five years ago, It’s been a very long time since I was last in the hospital itself. And for the most part, that’s been a good thing. As I’ve heard many parents connected to SickKids express before, no one wants to go to SickKids, but we are so lucky to have one of the best hospitals for children in the world, right here in Toronto, for when we do need it.

The last time I remember being inside of SickKids was about 20 years ago, when my baby cousin was battling a brain tumour. There are a lot of heavy emotions tied to that experience, and the tragic loss we had to deal with as a family shortly after. I am very grateful that I have not had to spend time at SickKids again since then, and feel very lucky that the children in my life now are living happy and healthy lives.


My dedication to supporting SickKids comes from a very personal place and I’m extremely proud to be working with them as an ambassador to raise awareness for their #GetBetterGifts program this holiday season.

When the SickKids team invited me in for a tour of the Hospital to see firsthand how the #GetBetterGifts program helps children in the hospital, I knew it was the right time to revisit the hospital in person after so many years. As I learned, there are very specific to support SickKids in the most effective ways possible, and this new gifting program helps you do just that.


I think that many of us think of SickKids when it comes to charitable giving during the holiday season. Unfortunately, many of us also make the mistake of donating new and/or used toys that sadly can’t be distributed to children in the hospital for a variety of reasons, but especially due to contamination. As I learned while touring the hospital, even when it comes to Arts & Crafts, each child has their own pack of crayons for colouring that can’t be shared – just another major reason why donations to #GetBetterGifts helps provide the funds that are needed to keep up with the amount of products and materials that are used on a daily basis.

When it comes to understanding the needs of the children, especially over the holidays, there’s no one that knows better than the Child Life Specialists at SickKids who have helped create the #GetBetterGifts program.

So how does it work? A purchase of Get Better Gifts this holiday season allows you to provide a truly heartfelt and symbolic gift that can brighten the lives of the children and families at The Hospital for Sick Children.


Shopping for Get Better Gifts is as simple and easy as any other online shopping experience, which you means we can do it from ANYWHERE at ANYTIME – no excuses!

First, CHOOSE your gift (or gifts) by browsing all of the gifts at once, or by occasion, to pick the perfect gift. You can browse all gift options by clicking HERE. Next, REVIEW your order when you’re ready to check out by clicking the “My Cart” button located at the top of the page. CUSTOMIZE your gift by choosing whether to give FREE greeting cards with your gifts, then customize the edCard, printable PDF Card or Card via Mail. Finally, CHECK OUT when you’re ready to go by simply entering your information and hitting “Complete Order”.


As you’ll see on the website, some of the #GetBetterGifts options include Holiday Baking & Supplies for $20, Arts & Crafts supplies for $12 and a stocking surprise for $30. Even when budgets are tight over the holiday season, SickKids is making it affordable for anyone to get involved with gifting options that start as low as $12.

As the Child Life Specialists shared during our tour, two of the age groups that get neglected the most when it comes to holiday gifting including new born babies, and teenagers. Some of the gift options for these age groups include the Crib Mobile for $65 and Teen Movie Night for $25 or the coveted Videogames & Controllers for $36.

Excitingly, this year you can make twice the difference thanks to the Orinoco Foundation, who will generously match your gift if it an item listed with the red matching gift tag. You can easily shop all of the matched gifts HERE.


Inside the Multi-Sensory Room at SickKids

As you can imagine, the tour was quite emotional, especially when thinking of the families who would be spending spending the holidays in the hospital. Although there’s nothing like being at home at this time of year – and rest assured that the doctors at SickKids do everything they can to try and get families home for Christmas, even if it’s just on a day pass – it is comforting to know that there’s so much effort put in by the team at SickKids to make it a memorable and joyful experience for every child, and family, at the hospital.

This holiday season, please considering purchasing #GetBetterGifts and join us in providing the best gifts possible to the children at SickKids. Whether it’s one purchase, or the choice to make donations on behalf of others for your holiday gifting, every purchase makes a difference!

For more information and to start shopping, please visit the Get Better Gifts website.




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