Guidelines-Know What To Mail September 03, 2005 10:05 AM
Knowing what to mail.
We're grateful that you are willing to send cards to our "club kids." We have some suggestions to help you know what is appropriate:
1) Hand-stamped, computer made, or purchased cards are all fine.
2) Confetti can be messy for the recipient, though it's fun for the sender. We don't recommend putting it into cards.
3) * IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be sure to carefully read each child's story before mailing them gifts. It would be inappropriate to mail a book on tape to a deaf child or crayons to a child without use of their hands. Be careful to make sure your gifts are appropriate for the age and physical limitations of the child.
4) Happy mail only, please! We like to send cheery cards that say things like "Thinking of You," "You're special," or "Hope you're having a great day" etc. We do not send "Get Well" cards because some of our club kids will not get well. Everything sent to our kids should be positive. Please do not say anything that could upset a child or a parent. For instance, do not write about inappropriate topics, such as the prognosis of the child. It's not appropriate to say, "I was sorry to hear the bad news," etc. Remember that the goal of each message is to bring JOY to the child.
5) Write to the kids about what you enjoy doing - working in your garden, etc. Send them photos of yourself and your own children or drawings by your kids.
6) You may wish to enclose with your card something lightweight such as stickers, coloring sheets, a postcard, a bookmark, etc.
7) You can also send larger packages, if you wish, which include toys and larger objects. However, these must be sent through the U.S. postal service and NOT UPS. UPS will not forward - and all our club kids' mail is sent to addresses other than their homes, so the mail is then forwarded to each child.
8) When signing your notes, most people usually put their full name, and under it "Hugs and Hope Club Member" and their email address. Parents appreciate the email addresses so they can thank you personally, if they have the time.
9) Here's a note received from one of HugsandHope's club kid's moms:
"I e-mailed a hugs and hope person today because she signed Justin's guest book saying "Hi Justin , I hope you're having a good day." I'm sure people don't mean to hurt me; but I just wish they would read the updates first so they will know whether a child has passed away before signing his guestbook. I'm sorry I'm complaining. It just hurt so much, so I wanted to let you know."
PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY. Be sure you know the status of a child before sending anything! Parents have received birthday cards for children who passed away months before their birthday. This is hard on them. Please take care.
CHILDREN'S CONFIDENTIAL HOME ADDRESSES:
Parents have reported receiving emails from strangers asking for their home address and their last name. There is absolutely NO reason that anyone should ask for last names or confidential home addresses! Parents have been instructed NOT to give out this information. Predators often disguise themselves and teenage girls to look innocent, so just because someone says she's a teenage girl, doesn't mean it's true. People who visit our site will find all the information they need about our kids there. Please do not ask parents for personal information! Parents have been instructed to tell anyone asking for their address or last name to inform them that HUGS and HOPE does not allow that information to be given out for legal reasons. Anyone requesting additional information on our children must email HugsandHope.com.
It's unfortunate that we live in a world that is so full of danger, but we must be cautious for the safety of our kids.