Children's Hospital Colorado

How You Can Help During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis

Children's Hospital Colorado | March 18, 2020

With schools closed, families at home and communities changing overnight, it's easy (and understandable) to feel overwhelmed. But what's even stronger than fear is hope – and action. At Children's Hospital Colorado, we're proud of the way our team members, patient families, partners, financial donors and community members are working together in this time of need. People are stepping up and showing up to help.

We've compiled this list of the ways you can help Children's Colorado and your local community while still maintaining social distancing and "safer-at-home" guidelines. Check back regularly for even more resources and ways to help.

How to help Children's Colorado

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our dedicated team members are keeping kids in our hospitals safe – and providing the patient- and family-centered care they deserve.

You can help patients and team members at Children's Colorado in the following ways.

We're amazed at the support we’ve received from community members donating and making protective gear for our team members, patients and families. To protect our community and help limit the spread of the coronavirus, we're accepting both medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and homemade donations.

Children's Colorado is accepting donations by mail and appointment at our open locations. We need an estimated 10,000 cloth face coverings to meet current patient needs.

Learn how to donate supplies, PPE and cloth face coverings

Blood and platelet donation

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is expected to impact our nation’s blood supply for months to come. If you're healthy and able to leave home for a short time, you can help others through blood donation.

Why do we need donors now more than ever?

Patients facing critical illness and injury rely on lifesaving blood donations from our community every day. That hasn't changed. Blood donors help minimize disruption to the blood supply and ensure blood is available for kids in our hospital. 

Donating blood is allowed during safer-at-home orders

It's important for healthy potential donors to know that blood donation is considered an essential function during the safer-at-home order. Donating blood is allowed under the Governor’s order, just like exercising in the park or walking your dog.

Where to donate blood

Learn about safely donating blood and platelets

Convalescent plasma donation

If you’ve recovered from confirmed COVID-19, your antibodies may help patients fighting for their lives. Our Blood Donor Center is one of the first in the nation to collect convalescent plasma to help fight the pandemic.

Learn how to become a convalescent plasma donor

As the only non-profit pediatric hospital in our region, we rely on donations from community members to support our world-class pediatric care. Unrestricted giving is urgently needed, so that we can direct immediate funds to where they can do the most good, whether that’s funding the additional staff hours needed to address this outbreak or providing world-class medical care for the children whose injuries and illnesses will not take a break.

Give to the Children's Fund

Our team members need additional support and resources to navigate both daily patient care and the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus outbreak. By giving to the Caregiver Emergency Relief Fund, you will help provide protective equipment, childcare support and resiliency resources to keep our caregivers safe and healthy in mind, body and spirit during this stressful time.

Donate to support our caregivers on the front lines

If you’re a restaurant manager hoping to donate food to our frontline clinicians, thank you! We’re coordinating food donations to help support all of our hardworking team members across locations.

To get started, please email Employee.Wellness@childrenscolorado.org with the following information:

  • Your name and restaurant
  • The Children’s Colorado location(s) where you’d like to donate (Anschutz Medical Campus, North Campus, South Campus, Colorado Springs or no preference)
  • How many meals you wish to donate

 Please note: We cannot accept buffet-style food for health and safety reasons.

How the community is helping

Communities across Colorado and our region are facing enormous challenges during this time. Fortunately, many organizations, including our community partners, are stepping up to meet these needs. We're celebrating the ways our partners are helping outside of our hospital walls – and how you can help them, too.

We'll continue to update this list as we learn of additional resources.

Brent's Place provides safe housing for children and families living with cancer and other immunocompromising conditions. Since Brent's Place cannot accept visitors, they've shared ways to help, including sending an email greeting to lift spirits and providing in-kind donations.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) help families with kids in our hospitals by providing housing, meals and more. The Ronald McDonald Houses in Aurora and Colorado Springs have wish lists where you can donate items in short supply. Better yet? You can purchase items from their lists via Target and Amazon and have your donation delivered. (Please call ahead for instructions if you intend to drop off in person.) Learn how to support RMHC Denver and RMHC Southern Colorado.

Though safer-at-home orders have limited many nonprofits, There With Care is providing essential services to families and children facing critical illness, including current patients at Children’s Colorado.

Bags of Fun exists to bring joy, laughter and relief to every child fighting a life-threatening disease or condition. During these uncertain times, Bags of Fun is committed to fulfilling their mission and is still accepting donations to help continue delivering a Bag of Fun to every sick child whose health and happiness is both compromised and threatened.

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks soccer team has announced several community initiatives to support Care and Share, southern Colorado’s largest food bank. Learn how you can join the Switchbacks.

The Denver Broncos are supporting the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, donating meals for families in need through Food Bank of the Rockies and much more. In March, they teamed up with Colorado lawmakers to host a community drive at Empower Field at Mile High where they collected critical medical supplies for Colorado hospitals, including Children's Colorado. By the end of the day, they had enough to fill four trucks and 30 pallets. Go Broncos! Learn more about community initiatives with the Broncos.

The Rocky Mountain Vibes minor league baseball team, Project C.U.R.E. and others hosted a PPE drive in Colorado Springs where they collected critical protective gear for hospitals in the Springs, including Children's Colorado.

YMCAs are providing critical childcare for families of first responders, medical providers and families that need childcare in order to work and provide for their families. Learn more about the availability of childcare at YMCA Denver Metro, YMCA Northern Colorado and YMCA Pikes Peak Region.

If you need help

Whether your family has concerns about food, or you're looking for ways to help your child succeed at home while schools are closed, the following resources can help.

The following food security resources are available in Colorado: 

Doing our part to help keep kids fed

To ensure children are being fed amid school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, team members from our hospital are distributing groceries and produce from Food Bank of the Rockies to Aurora Public Schools (APS) students. 

From March through May, our Child Health Advocacy team is providing food through a grab-and-go drive-up system to increase distribution of food to more people in need. We're also working with APS on developing a plan to provide healthy food to kids in need until school resumes normal operations.

In addition to stepping up to meet necessary physical and financial needs in the community, our partners are taking steps to help with homeschooling, distraction and mental health during this time. Here's a list of ways partners are promoting learning and fun throughout this unprecedented time. (While we’ll do our best to keep this list up to date, please note that the following schedules are subject to change.)

Butterfly Pavilion is offering virtual programs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 11 a.m. Mountain Time. You can also find online field trips, educational resources and live events on their social media channels.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is bringing the zoo to you! Kids can follow along with animals’ feedings and movements in the habitats on the Giraffe Cam. Kids can also participate in daily animal crafts and bring their animal questions to social media where zoo experts will answer them.

The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus is temporarily closed, but their Facebook group Museum Fun 101 will bring the Museum to you. Check out screen-free activities created by educators to engage your child in learning and fun from the comfort of your home.

Denver Botanic Gardens is sharing their flowers and gardens virtually through their YouTube channel. As spring brings new growth and blooms, you also can use their Gardens Navigator to discover the plants and trees in their collection. Or, visit the Gardens' Library Programs page to download and print multiple coloring sheets (like this year's #ColorOurCollections botanical illustration).

The Denver Broncos are sharing workouts, community resources and activities for families as part of their COVID-19 resources.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science has published educational programming for teachers, schools and kids at home. The Musem has things you can watch, do and teach. The museum is also inviting kids ages 3 to 18 to participate in a LEGO brick-building contest for their upcoming exhibition The Art of the Brick. (Submissions are due by April 24.) Follow the Museum on social at #dmnsscienceparty.

Denver Zoo hosts a live-stream program featuring different animals every day at 1 p.m. Mountain Time on the Denver Zoo Facebook page. They are also launching a virtual Zoo to You Safari.

Explora Children’s Museum has daily STEAM activities, ideas and inspiration on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Check out their animal feedings, story times, science experiments and more.

Foothills Park and Recreation District, just southwest of metro Denver, has outdoor spaces that remain open for families and small groups that will obey all social distancing guidelines. Please note: Their policy may change or be impacted by local ordinances. Be sure to check their website for updated information. Foothills also has free fitness classes and workouts online.

Highlands Ranch Community Association has an online portal with virtual workouts, virtual preschools, online concerts, daily experiments and more.

Kidpower of Colorado is hosting Facebook Live events teaching Kidpower safety skills and accompanying activities.

Inside the Orchestra has activities for kids to do at home and weekly newsletters.

Macaroni Kids of Highlands Ranch has a printable daily home schedule for kids. Or, use their editable Google Doc to customize and print your own schedule. Mac Kids is also offering virtual field trips, weekly at-home agendas with crafts and recipes, and more.

National Western Stock Show partnered with the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture to create a robust list of virtual field trip resources with environmental, biology and agricultural homeschooling content. The list also includes recommendations for Facebook live events, books, movies and documentaries.

Pikes Peak Library District is encouraging families to take advantage of their online CyberShelf, a resource that houses thousands of eBooks, eVideos and more online resources. The library is also regularly updating their kids and teens portals with activities, virtual tutoring and gaming opportunities. Visit their Facebook page every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time for “Cupboard Crafts & Experiments,” where kids can use fun items they have around their homes to do a fun activity. The District is also offering virtual storytime every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. A children's librarian will lead a sing-along and read a book each week. If you can't join live, all videos are available for viewing later.

Rocky Mountain PBS offers the PBS Kids Video App, an app with educational videos and games for children of all ages, to support families homeschooling kids at this time. No subscription required.

Wings Over the Rockies has space-themed crafts and activities. Learn how to fold a paper cobra airplane or boomerang plane, join a virtual storytime, or explore outer space experiments. For more, check out the Wings Over the Rockies YouTube channel.

WOW! Children’s Museum developed five programs that align with the museum’s top exhibits. Parents and kids can use their list of exhibit activities to create their own recipes, puzzles, games, crafts and more.

YMCA Northern Colorado is offering virtual videos of exercises to do at home and ideas for activities with kids.

YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region is offering free workout classes online.

Young Americans Center provides financial literacy resources for youth, families and educators to learn more about finance and business. They are providing virtual classes and online resources for kids, families and educators.

501st Legion is continuing to share their love for Star Wars and making children smile during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 501st has started a YouTube channel for things like #501stStoryTime videos.

We'll continue to update this page when possible throughout the coronavirus crisis in Colorado. Please share these important resources with your community and return soon to learn about additional ways you can help in the coming weeks. And remember: We're all in this together. Please take care of yourself and each other.

From answers to parents' top questions to important phone numbers to know, we've gathered the coronavirus information you might need during this time and put it all in one place.

Editor's note: This page was updated on May 20, 2020. Due to the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, recommendations can change quickly. Please follow all rules and guidelines set by state and local public health and safety authorities. Reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for immediate updates on COVID-19.

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