New Diagnosis Baskets
The idea for these baskets came from the personal experience of our family.  During our
diagnosis stay, another family was kind enough to reach out to us with gift bags.  In addition, a
close friend of ours brought us a basket filled to the brim with the everyday, useful "stuff" of
life.  These gifts were a lifeline when everything around us was in chaos.  When I was asked
what I would do for families, I immediately thought of giving everyone exactly what we had
been given.  

During our diagnosis stay, Avalon was given a gift basket filled with small toys, information,
and a chemo doll.  While it accomplished its goal of distracting her, and providing some play
time - it didn't served the needs of the family.  Children with cancer have many benefactors,
all of whom should be celebrated.  Our concern is that often the
families of the children are
the forgotten casualties.  The goals of our new diagnosis baskets would be to help the
families of the children, as well as the children themselves.  

Baskets would be filled and taken to Children's several at a time, for dispersal by the hospital
staff, at their discretion.  If the nurses or a social worker feel that a long term family might
benefit from one as much as a new diagnosis family, they will be welcome to present them.  
The baskets will contain no medical information, informative literature, or any form of cancer
identifier.  They are meant as a way for families to survive and escape - several resources  
already exist to educate.

Baskets will contain various toiletries such as (but not limited to): shampoo, soap, lotion,
cotton swabs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, chapstick and fingernail clippers.  They will contain a
disposable camera and small frame.  Each basket will have stationary, a small journal and a
pen and pencils.  Baskets will have non-perishable snacks and treats such as (but not limited
to): gum, candy, chips, snack cakes, and crackers.  Baskets will also contain a puzzle book
(EX: crossword) and light reading such as magazines.  

The goal of the baskets is to help serve the entire family.  Most diagnosis stays, and often
hospital stays in general, are spur of the moment, with no time to plan.  As a parent, your
focus in entirely on your child, forgetting about your own needs.  Avalon's Army of Angels
wishes to help parents who are too overwhelmed to think of themselves.

Gift basket items are a perfect way for people to become involved.  By using two-for-one
coupons, or coupons on sale items, people can donate toiletries for little or no cost.  Frames
hand made by families would bring love with them, and stationary need not be purchased, it
can be created.  Hand made cards would show the recipients that someone cared enough to
take the time.  And finally, baskets can be recycled through donation to Avalon's Army.  If
someone was thoughtful and gave you a gift of a fruit basket at the holidays...what better way
to honor their thoughtfulness, than by sharing the basket with others?  

Anyone donating items to fill baskets would be invited to share words of encouragement for
the recipient.  Simple notes of support or love, mean volumes to families with broken hearts.

Again, the goal of Avalon's Army would not only be to help the families, but to enable people
who never thought they could make a difference...to be able to touch someone's life...
Back to Avalon's Haven
On to Avalon's Treasury
The Army!
Avalon's Army of Angels