Courage Cards for TEENS!


Zach's Toy Chest

What You'll Do:

Courage Cards are something you can do by yourself or with a group. All cards will be going to kids that are inpatient at Duke, UNC, Wake Med and James & Connie Maynard Children's Hospitals.

This opportunity has passed.


We have been working closely with the hospitals (both UNC and Duke Children's in the area) to see what a consistent need would be. What we've found is encouraging/positive cards that help boost patients spirits while in the hospital and help with keeping kids of all ages in a positive mindset and mood is needed. Having a positive outlook is critical in recovery as well, which is where the cards have come into play. The Courage Cards are an easy way to make this happen. There is a lot of freedom in this project and it is up to the individuals/teams to be as creative as they wish to be. All cards will be going to kids that are inpatient at Duke, UNC, Wake Med and James & Connie Maynard Children's Hospitals.

Courage cards are for patients of all ages, but we are finding that most have been designed for younger kids. A need that's present now is for pre-teen and teen cards. Joke cards are always a hit and when they are geared towards teens, the jokes can be more edgy/comical than ones designed for elementary ages. We've also gotten feedback that teens really appreciate small gift cards ($5 or $10) with their Courage Cards that show people haven't forgotten about them and allows them some normalcy to grab something for themselves at Starbucks/Target/Chick-fil-a/etc. This of course is something that can be done if your budget allows, but is not necessary to complete the project.

Instructions for Making General Cards:
1. Gather up some supplies!
You can make a card with simply crayons and paper, or you can gather a bunch of supplies. It is entirely up to you.

You are welcome to use craft supplies, such as: stickers, stamps, etc., so long as the products are not excessive to the point of falling/rubbing off the card (this can create health concerns for some kids). This is especially important to keep in mind when using glitter. Every week, we receive cards with excessive amounts of glitter and are forced to throw those cards away.

Rubbing your finger across the glitter, stamp ink etc., to ensure that little to nothing rubs off, is typically a sufficient way to tell whether the product is excessive.

2. Addressing the card:
Since we do not yet know the child's name, please make sure you do not address the card to a specific person.

If you want to address the card, here are some suggestions:
• "Hey there"
• "Hey you!"
• "To: a very special person"

3. Writing on the front/inside of the card
At the request of hospitals, we ask you not to write "Get well", "Feel Better" or other illness related comments. We prefer to focus on the child as a whole, rather than their illness. Some of the kids that receive our cards suffer from chronic, life-threatening and/or terminal conditions. Some may also be facing uncertainty regarding their treatment and diagnosis. This is why it is important to write uplifting messages rather than "Get Well" or other illness focused comments.

We recommend writing the following uplifting messages:
• Stay strong
• You are awesome
• Never forget how amazing YOU are
• You rock
• I hope you have a great day today
• You shine brighter than the sun
• You inspire me
• Be Brave
• I believe in YOU

These messages focus on the child as a whole, rather than their illness, which is important, according to Child Life Specialists. You can also come up with your own uplifting comments. If you want us to review your comments, feel free to contact us.

4. Make sure that you do not...
- Include any personal information, such as: phone number, address, email address etc. Hospitals will not allow us to distribute cards with this information.

- Write any religious comments such as "God Bless" or "I'm praying for you". Hospitals do not allow us to distribute cards with these comments. Hospitals treat patients of all religions as well as patients that do not practice religion.

5. Sign your name:
Now, sign your first name on the card. (Please do not sign your last name).

If you wish to, you can also sign your state, such as "Katie from Nebraska", or organization such as "Girl Scout Troop # 777" or "Ann Marie from UBS in Washington DC".

6. Lastly, mail out the cards:
Zach's Toy Chest
PO Box 1013
Holly Springs, NC 27540

Please include a return address so that we can send a thank-you letter after your cards have been distributed.

Impact Statement:

This opportunity has passed.


No location specified.


Date/Time: Volunteers Needed: