Sometime in the near future, a homemade card adorned with a grinning hippo will brighten the day of a hospitalized child. This happy card was one of many that DePaul University alumni created during a recent volunteer event. Armed with glue sticks, colorful paper, pipe cleaners, stickers and vivid imaginations, alumni produced 80 artistic masterpieces on behalf of Cardz for Kidz, a local non-profit founded by DePaul MBA student Ike Nwankwo and alumnus David Harrison (BUS ’07).
Cardz for Kidz organizes casual gatherings where groups of friends or colleagues join together to make inspirational cards for pediatric patients and other children in need. “Our mission is uplifting spirits, one card at a time,” says Nwankwo. Since 2010, Cardz for Kidz has done just that for more than 3,000 children around the world. The organization partners with 14 hospitals and ensures that each card is hand-delivered to patients’ rooms.
It’s hard to exaggerate the gratitude and excitement of the young recipients. “The kids feel like somebody made a card specifically for them,” Nwankwo explains. “They feel so special.” For volunteers, the experience of creating homemade cards is equally heartwarming. “It was so fun to make a card that would make a child feel like a rock star,” shares Colleen Moodie (CMN ’11). “Each card is one of a kind—just like the kids who received them.”
As of April 18, DePaul student and alumni groups have contributed 209 cards to the cause. This puts DePaul slightly ahead of Northwestern University (202 cards) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (169). Alumni can get involved in the challenge—and bring joy to more hospitalized kids—by hosting a Cardz for Kidz party or making cards on their own. “A little piece of paper with marker on it makes a difference,” Nwankwo asserts. “The kids know someone is thinking of them.”
Feel free to be creative with your designs, but Cardz for Kidz cannot accept cards that reference the patient’s health in any way, such as “get well soon” or “feel better.” Similarly, Cardz for Kidz does not deliver cards that feature religious language or iconography. For more information, please review the organization’s guidelines.
Card drop-off location:
DePaul Alumni Center
2400 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Or mail your cards to:
c/o David Harrison
225 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601