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Aahhhh-choo! Remember the last time you were sick? How did you feel? Achy, tired, maybe even cranky because you had to stay in bed? Let's face it—being sick is no fun. Here's how ZOOMers like you are sharing the best medicine around: showing that they care!
- Alyssa of Colorado helps cook and deliver meals for Project Angel Heart, a place that delivers hot meals to people who are sick.
- Lauren of Massachusetts started a group called Kid2Kid. Kids who have been in the hospital talk to other kids who are in the hospital to help them feel less scared.
- Amelia of Pennsylvania cut her hair and gave it to Locks of Love, a program that makes wigs for kids who are sick and have lost their hair.
- Andrew of Missouri collected books from his neighbors and gave them to a hospital.
- Third graders at the Rosewood Avenue Elementary School in California made brochures to help their community learn about exercise and good nutrition.
- Make a meal, complete with a dessert from CafeZOOM, for a sick neighbor. Remember to find out what kinds of foods your neighbor likes to eat.
- Make a "giggle book" of ZOOMzingers and ZOOMfunny to entertain kids who are in the hospital.
- Raise money in a "-thon," like a walk-a-thon, a read-a-thon, or a hop-a-thon. Give the money to a place that helps people who are sick.
Darren of Oregon wanted to cheer up his next-door neighbor who was sick. So he made his neighbor a "cheer up" goodie bag that he filled with a homemade card, a game, and a book of jokes.
Here's how you can make a "cheer up" goodie bag:
- Find someone to help. Do you know a friend, a family member, or a neighbor who is sick and needs some cheering up? Ask an adult to help you choose a person.
- Think about the person who will receive the bag. What kind of illness does he or she have? Does the illness make it hard for the person to do things, like reading or getting out of bed? What kinds of things does he or she like to do? What kinds of things might cheer up the person? If you don't know the answers, ask someone who helps take care of the person.
- Decide what you will put inside the bag. Here are some ideas:
- Make the goodies. Then put them inside a bag. Paper bags with handles work well. Remember to decorate the bag, too!
- Deliver it! Ask an adult for permission to visit or to come with you. Remember to call first to make sure that the person can see a visitor.
- Think about it:
- Who did your project help?
- What did you see and hear during the project?
- How did this project make you feel?
- What did you learn that you did not know before?
- What new questions or ideas do you have?
- Is there anything you would do differently the next time?
- Celebrate! Thank everyone who helped you. And remember to log your hours and share your story.
- Keep helping. You can make lots of bags and give them to people in a nursing home. Ask an adult to help you call a nursing home. Ask to speak with the Volunteer Coordinator. Explain what a "cheer up" goody bag is and find out how many they would like. If you're making lots of bags, get some friends to help. Ask if you can visit with the people who are receiving the bags. You can talk with them and even play a game that you put in the bag. Think about visiting on a regular basis, like once a week or once a month. Remember that if you are under the age of 16, you will probably need an adult to come with you.
Eleven-year-old Jon Wagner-Holtz started this site that offers support for kids who have a parent with cancer.
Learn about different illnesses from heart disease to the flu.
A Begonia for Miss Applebaum
By Paul Zindel
Henry and Zelda discover that their favorite teacher, Miss Applebaum, won't be back at school because she is sick. They start having Saturday outings with Miss Applebaum and an exciting new world is opened for them.
When Someone is Very Sick
By Jim Boulden
Learn about the feelings you may experience when a family member or friend becomes seriously ill.
You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children about AIDS
By Joan C. Verniero
A young girl with AIDS talks about her life with AIDS and the loving family and friends who care for her.
Look in the Yellow Pages under these headings:
Call your Volunteer Center. This is a place that can help you find volunteer projects. To find a Volunteer Center near you, visit this Web site or call 1-800-VOLUNTEER. Ask an adult to help you call. Tell them your age and ask if there are ways that you can help people who are sick.