DSCC Cares About Caregivers
DSCC staff join forces to honor caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month.
Staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) understand that caring for a child with special needs is one of the most demanding circumstances a family can face.
For National Family Caregivers Month in November, we wanted to do something special to support the amazing caregivers we partner with while also having fun working together as a team.
We invited our regional offices to plan a service project to benefit a group of caregivers in their community. Many of our staff jumped at the chance to participate.
Here’s a recap of how they helped –
Champaign Regional Office
Champaign RO staff put together care packages for families with children hospitalized in the Carle Foundation Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
They filled our DSCC drawstring backpacks with items to help make staying at the hospital more comfortable for these deserving parents. Champaign staff are also partnering with Carle’s NICU and mother/baby social workers so families are aware that DSCC is here to help connect them to services and resources.
Carle’s NICU and mother/baby social workers were thrilled to pick up the packages and to have our organization as a source of support for their families.
Lombard Regional Office
The Lombard RO made 17 cozy fleece blankets for the children staying at Almost Home Kids in Naperville.
Almost Home Kids provides transitional care in a home-like setting to children with complicated health needs, training for their families and respite care.
Lombard staff made the no-sew blankets during their breaks. They also donated three cases of water and multiple packs of Kleenex to add to the “Go Bags” that Almost Home Kids provides to their families.
Marion and Olney Regional Offices
The Marion and Olney ROs joined forces to create caregiver bags for families who have children in the NICU at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
One of the NICU nurses shared that families often need note pads, pens, snacks, warm socks, etc.
Marion and Olney staff donated enough of these items to fill 25 DSCC drawstring bags.
Mokena Regional Office
On Dec. 7, our Mokena RO team prepared and served dinner at the local PADS (Public Action to Delivery Shelter) at Zion Lutheran Church in Tinley Park.
PADS provides overnight shelter and meals for people who are homeless. Community partners, such as churches and congregations, provide sites for the shelter and teams of volunteers to run it from October to April.
Mokena staff made a dinner of homemade Sloppy Joes, roast turkey, plenty of sides and a dessert for approximately 30 women and children.
Peoria Regional Office
Peoria RO staff collected items off of the wish list for the newly opened Almost Home Kids at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
Almost Home Kids opened in Peoria in September. The 12-bedroom, 21,000-square-foot facility provides transitional care in a home-like setting for children with complex medical needs. It also provides training and respite care for their families.
Almost Home Kids is funded entirely through community donations.
Our Peoria staff purchased diapers, baby wipes, towels, coffee, children’s books, assorted toys and other supplies to help the children feel more at home.
Rockford Regional Office
The Rockford RO staff provided bags of comfort and a taste of home to the NICU families at Mercyhealth Rockford.
They donated money and purchased wish list items to make 25 backpack care packages.
Each bag contains a journal, pen, water, drink mix, calendar, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, chapstick, gum, granola bars, chicken soup and lotion.
Springfield Regional Office and Central Administrative Office
Our Springfield RO and CAO staff worked together to prepare a meal for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois in Springfield.
They decided on a pasta bar menu with sides and a dessert. Employees divided up portions of the menu to do the shopping ahead of time. A group of 11 prepared the meal at the house on Nov. 5.
The Springfield and CAO staff also collected donations to purchase a total of 33 gift cards for the families staying at the house to use at HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital’s dining facilities and coffee shops.
We are proud of our staff’s generosity and strong commitment to improving their local communities!