Pinterest users have come up with some amazingly heart-warming ideas over the years, from blessing bags for the homeless to birthday kits for the food shelf. The social media site has really upped everyone's charitable donations game. One of the newest ideas gaining popularity is chemo care packages. Whether you make one for a loved one or several for the local hospital, the thought behind the gift is truly touching and would be appreciated by anyone going through chemotherapy.
1. Scarf: Chemo patients often complain of being cold. You can knit a scarf, make a fleece knotted scarf, or even buy a pre-made one at the store. It doesn't have to be fancy; just warm.
2. Water: Staying hydrated is important anytime, but it is especially important when you are going through chemotherapy. Be sure to include a bottle or two of water.
3. Puzzle Books: Crossword puzzles, search-a-words, and Sudoku puzzle books are all great for passing the time when undergoing chemo. Be sure to include a pencil or pen.
4. Candy: Chemo can not only leave a person with a serious case of dry mouth, but it can also make one very nauseous. Sucking on hard candy can alleviate some of this. Include some hard candy and a sucker or two in your care package.
5. Magazine: Chemo patients like to have something to read during the long days, but knowing what book to buy them can be difficult, if not impossible. Buy them a magazine or two instead. The best part is that they can leave the magazine for the next patient when they finish reading it.
6. Lip Balm: Hospitals can be a bit drying, especially if you are spending hours on end there, day after day. Plus, dry lips are often a side effect to chemotherapy. Any brand of lip balm is a great item to stash in a care package.
7. Chemo Cold Cap: This item is a little pricier than the others on this list, but if you are making a care package for a friend or family member, consider investing in chemo cold caps. The idea behind the product, according to the American Cancer Society, is that wearing it before, during, and after chemo will cool the scalp and (hopefully) reduce or even prevent hair loss.
8. Warm Socks: Life is full of little pleasures and warm, fuzzy socks are at the top of the list. Include a gender-neutral pair of cozy socks to keep their feet warm while sitting in the chemo chair.
9. iTunes Gift Card: Many chemo patients listen to music on their iPod and would appreciate a gift card to buy more music, even if the amount is only five dollars. Music doesn't just kill time; it can also lift one's spirits.
10. Note of Encouragement: Even if you are making chemo care kits for complete strangers, include a note of encouragement. You can write your own words, copy a poem, or even include a handmade card. Going through chemo is hard and patients just need to feel that someone -- anyone -- is thinking about them and supporting them. It means a lot.
Taking the time to make a chemo care gift bag for a family member, a friend, or even a stranger can bring a little sunshine to an otherwise gray day.