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Frequently Asked Questions about In-Kind Gifts and Third-Party Fundraisers

Thank you for your interest in information on Gifts-In-Kind. We have listed below some frequently asked questions in reference to gift-in-kind donations to SoutheastHEALTH Foundation.

What is a gift-in-kind?
Gifts-in-kind are donations of tangible gifts versus money. For example, a donor might give a new toy, book or game to the hospital for the patients. We accept these items throughout the year.

Can I donate used items?
We can only accept new, unopened items. Used toys could harbor unknown germs and bacteria, which could potentially be a danger to our patients. We do accept very gently used books and (non-violent) DVD movies and Playstation Games for children of all ages.

Why can’t gently used toys be cleaned and used in the hospital playroom?
The cleaning and disinfection of used toys is quite difficult. Toys can have many parts, some cannot be cleaned due to the material they are made of, etc. Used stuffed animals also pose a risk to our asthma patients. The fur on the toy can harbor allergens that could trigger an asthma attack. While we gratefully acknowledge your intentions, for the safety of the children we maintain a standard of accepting only new, unused toys.

What can I do with my gently used toys?
If you have gently used toys you would like to benefit children in need, our suggestion is to donate them to a women or children’s shelter in the Cape Girardeau area. Please refer to the Yellow Pages for contact information.

Can I personally deliver gifts to patients?
Unfortunately, our policies prohibit this practice. We must remember that the children are at Southeast Missouri Hospital because they are ill. They may not feel comfortable with visitors other than their family members. Also, due to the Federal HIPAA Law (privacy of patient) and our own strict infectious disease control policy, we cannot allow outside visitors on the patient floors to deliver gifts to our patients at any time of year. Gifts may be dropped off at the Foundation office. If you drop gifts off, please leave your contact and address information inside the bag or box of gifts, so that we may send an acknowledgment to you. Or if you would like to set up an appointment to drop the gifts off and meet a staff member from the Foundation at (573)986-6622.

Is there a particular time of year that is better to donate new toys?
During the holidays, we tend to receive an abundance of wonderful items for the patients from very generous donors, but we also have a need for gifts in the spring, summer and fall. We give little toys to patients before or after receiving a procedure - to help cheer them up - or as prizes and comfort items to help make their stay more comfortable.

What type of items could my group collect in a drive?

  • Coloring books or activity books and crayons. Put one book and one pack of crayons in a small gift bag or paper bag and decorate the bag. They are great at keeping the kids occupied while waiting for a procedure.
  • Small craft kit projects/jewelry kits.
  • Small personal items: shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush. These items are for families in the waiting areas who hadn’t planned on an extended or overnight stay in the hospital.
  • Disposable cameras and small photo albums are great gifts for our teenagers! The cameras are also wonderful for our patients and their families - who may end up spending a birthday in the hospital and the parents don’t have their camera with them - or for the parents of the newborns in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - who want pictures of their babies for their baby books. These are very popular and "in demand" items!
  • Stickers, pencils, fun erasers, small toys, jewelry, crayons, coloring books, small stuffed animals, cards, small purses, hot wheels, etc. are great items to give to patients as a reward or to help comfort them while going through a medical procedure.
  • Books or videos help make a patient’s stay more enjoyable. Also, we cannot accept any R rated movies or violent type books.

If you wish to hold a drive or collection of any kind, please contact the Foundation office at (573)986-6622.

I’m having a birthday party. Can I give the birthday gifts I receive to the patients?
Lately, this has been a frequent request from children who are having birthday parties. Instead of the birthday child’s friends or family members giving them a new toy or game, the birthday child asks that items be purchased off our hospital wish list. It can be anything from a toy, game, book, disposable camera, personal care item, etc. After the birthday party, the birthday child’s parent will schedule a time to give us the toys they collected. This is nice because it serves two purposes: you can give a gift in honor of the birthday child, plus a sick child will receive a gift that will help cheer him/her.

Can I schedule a Third Party Fundraiser to benefit the Hospital?
Southeast Missouri Hospital Foundation is fortunate to enjoy the generosity of so many people and organizations in the community. Frequently, people spend their own time and money to organize a fundraiser to benefit the hospital. For more information please contact the Foundation office at (573)986-6622.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Foundation office at (573)986-6622.