Greeting Cards for Patients

Please note: All postcards and greeting cards must be laminated prior to being sent to our hospital. This helps us prevent the spread of infection to our patients. Thank you for your desire to help our patients during their recovery.

Because our hospital treats some of the sickest and most seriously injured children in our region and beyond, many of our patients are hospitalized for a long time. 

A colorful greeting card can help cheer up a patient. Patients and families often use greeting cards as decorations for their room during their recovery.

All greeting cards are reviewed by our staff before they are distributed to our patients. If you or your organization are interested in creating greeting cards for our patients, we have a few guidelines that will help ensure your greeting card makes it safely into the hands of a recovering child. 

Greeting Card Guidelines

Deliver Cards to Us Two Weeks Ahead

Each card we receive must be read by one of our capable, compassionate staff members prior to being delivered to a child. If you are planning for your cards to be delivered in time for a specific holiday season, our staff will need this time period to review each of the cards that we receive and make sure that it is appropriate for our patients prior to delivery.

Make Your Cards Generic

Making a card that is suitable for either a boy or a girl helps us speed the delivery of your cards. It also prevents "mix-ups" in our hospital where a boy might be given a card meant for a girl or vice versa. In addition, due to patient confidentiality, we are not permitted to release the names of our patients to you or your organization.

Avoid Specific Spiritual or Holiday References

We have one of the most diverse patient populations served by a children's hospital in the nation. As a result, our patients celebrate several different holidays during the month of December. Many do not celebrate Easter. And some may not be familiar with holidays that are more familiar to citizens of the United States.

Decorate with Crayons, Markers or Watercolors

Patients enjoy receiving colorful cards from well-wishers. However, to avoid choking hazards for our little ones, please do not use glue to add any items to your card -- this includes glitter, feathers and other seemingly non-hazardous items. 

Neutral Messages Are Best

Because many of our patients may have already been in the hospital a very long time, and are struggling to keep up their spirits, we ask that you use neutral messages.

Messages That Help:

  • Thinking of you
  • Just want to say Hi!
  • Wishing you the best
  • Sending you sunny smiles
  • Sending good wishes for you
  • Sending “take care” wishes
  • Sending comforting thoughts
  • Wishing a rainbow for you
  • Hope to brighten your day 
  • Happy Valentine’s Day
  • Happy Fourth of July
  • Happy Holidays 

Messages That May Not Help:

  • We hope you don't die (often written by very young children)
  • We hope you get well someday

Don't Forget to Laminate Your Cards

Laminating your greeting cards is key to ensuring a safe delivery to our patients. For many of our patients, their immune systems are weak while they are in our care, and we take special precautions -- such as wiping down every item that enters their room with special disinfectants -- to insure that they are fully protected from infection. Laminating your cards ensures that we can get your caring greeting cards to our patients as quickly as possible after they arrive.

Where to Send Your Cards

Because of patient privacy rights, we may not permit you to hand-deliver cards directly to children.  

In addition, due to construction of the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, finding parking near our hospital can be challenging. For these reasons, we highly recommend that you mail your cards to our Volunteer Office two weeks prior to the date that you wish to have them delivered to our patients:

Volunteer Services
4650 Sunset Blvd., #64
Los Angeles, CA  90027

Card Distribution

Most of the time, greeting cards are distributed in the following way: 

  • Cards are reviewed by our staff for appropriateness for patients
  • Cards deemed appropriate are sent to our Food Services Department
  • Food Services will place cards on patients' food trays
  • When the tray is taken to a patient's room, a fun surprise -- your card is included as a part of their meal
  • Because the Food Services Department's primary objective is to deliver food to all of our patients in a timely manner, time does not permit them to match specific cards to specific patients. To send a card to a specific patient, consider sending an e-card.