​little things…BIG DIFFERENCE

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”

Marian Wright Edelman, American activist for children’s rights and author

Imagine for a minute you’re a hospital patient. Perhaps you were brought in by ambulance. In your critical condition, you may have forgotten your phone. Or possibly you were unconscious.

One of our patients experienced this situation…

When Healing Ambassadors Marilyn and Barbara stopped by Ruth’s room the next morning, and asked how her day was going so far, she declared, “Awful…I’ve been awake since 2:00 am!

I woke with a start, remembering several questions I should have asked my doctor yesterday. 

I didn’t have my phone or anything to write with. I was afraid if I went back to sleep I might forget them.”

Marilyn, one of our sewing crafters, took Ruth’s dilemma to heart. When Marilyn arrived home that afternoon, she immediately started designing what became our “Bedside Pocket Pouch”. This gem was intended to hold small, easily misplaced items such as glasses, phones, tablets, etc. But what we also included was a small pad of paper and a golf pencil. (We recycled leftover printed paper from Volunteer Department communications. Standard paper was cut in fourths, stacked, and 10-12 pieces were stapled together.)

What was the response? The patients LOVED receiving something they didn’t even realize they might need. When our volunteers explained the purpose, the patients’ eyes lit up! “Who thought of something so clever and useful?” they often asked.

The staff also loved them, and in addition to another favorite, (neckroll pillows), they asked to keep some on their unit to hand out as needed. 

And our American Sewing Guild crafters who made hundreds, loved them too! Their leader, Betty, said, “I always keep a few in my car. When I go to visit someone in the hospital or an assisted living resident, I take them one of these…so much better than flowers, and greatly appreciated!”

As you can see in the photo, the pouch was designed with Velcro closure so that it could be attached to the patient’s bedrail to their left or right. It was equipped with two pockets, so plenty of room for the small things in one, larger items in the other. There was enough room to keep the Crossword and Sudoku booklets our Healing Ambassadors gave out, or a paperback the patient might have. And, of course, these activity books provided another opportunity to use that pencil, something so seemingly small, but so valuable.