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Plan an Event for Our Patients

Special event photo

Thank you for your interest in providing a special event for the patients and families at Cook Children's. Many opportunities are available for both groups and individuals.

Listed below you will find a description of possible events along with the appropriate guidelines for each. All of these options support our Promise to improve the health of every child in our region.

First step: complete an application

View and print our community involvement packet/application

All paperwork can be returned to Jillian Mitchell using the contact information below or faxed to 682-885-7480. Thanks in advance for your wonderful gifts of time, talent and treasures!

Jillian Mitchell
Community Program Coordinator
Medical Center
801 Seventh Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76104
682-885-4241
jillian.mitchell@cookchildrens.org

Special event planning guide

It is important that every event be safe and successful for both the patients and the visitors. Based on our experiences, the following information was developed and should prove helpful in planning your visit.

Scheduling

Patient activity groups are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday-Friday. Activity groups are scheduled at 11 a.m., on Saturdays and Sundays.

The following time slots are not available due to regularly scheduled activities:

  • First Wednesday of the month (11 a.m.)
  • Fourth Thursday of the month (3 p.m.)
  • Second Friday of the month (3 p.m.)

Occasionally, activities are scheduled for our outpatients in the specialty clinics. The times are more flexible for these activities.

Patient projects

Patient Projects is a program through which community groups visit the patients in the medical center and plan a specific activity for them. These activities are usually crafts, but groups have also chosen to facilitate game days and other activities. The visiting group is responsible for providing the supplies for the activity. Groups are never responsible for the patients' safety or medical needs. Staff, patient families and/or volunteers are present at all events.

Guidelines:

  • All participants must be at least 16 years old
  • Adequate adult supervision of volunteers (1:5 ratio for teens agess 16-18)
  • The group is responsible for providing all activity supplies
  • The largest group allowed to participate in this activity is 10 people
  • Activities must be pre-approved
  • Hot glue guns may not be used

When planning for a craft activity, groups are encouraged to plan for 40-50 children. This allows projects to be delivered to patients who are unable to leave their rooms. When deciding on an activity, plan for children in the 7-11 year old age range. Staff can help make the activity safe and exciting for patients in the other age groups.

Party hosting

Party hosting is a program through which community groups visit the patients in the medical center and assist with a specific party planned for them. These parties may be holiday parties, monthly birthday parties or other special event parties. Some examples and ideas include:

  • Mother-Daughter Makeovers
  • Father-Son Poker Party
  • Cooking Parties
  • Back to School Party
  • Fun in the Sun Party
  • Tailgate Party

The visiting group is responsible for providing the food/treats and activities. Groups are never responsible for the patients' safety or medical needs. Staff, patient families and/or volunteers are present at all events.

Guidelines:

  • All participants must be at least 16 years old.
  • Adequate adult supervision of volunteers must be provided by the group (1:5 ratio for teens ages 16-18).
  • The group is responsible for providing all activity supplies.
  • The largest group allowed to participate in this activity is 10 people.
  • Activities must be pre-approved.

When planning for party activities, groups are encouraged to plan for 25-30 children. This allows projects to be delivered to patients who are unable to leave their rooms. When deciding on an activity, plan for children in the 7-11 old age range. Staff can help make the activity safe and exciting for patients in the other age groups. It is highly encouraged that a representative from the group visits the medical center prior to the event to get a feel for the space and expectations.

Special visitors

Special visitors include celebrities and athletes who are recognizable by patients. Individuals and groups of children or youth may not visit the patients unless they are participating in one of the other two programs: Patient Projects or Performances. Many patients can easily become more ill when exposed to germs; this is minimized by limiting direct visitors, as often as possible, to family members.

Media/Photography
In respect of the privacy of the patients, every child must have written photo consent from their parent or legal guardian on file with before ANY photo is taken. To be prepared for your visit, it is important that your needs related to media be known in advance. There may be restrictions placed on your group's ability to photograph an activity, but every effort will be made to help you achieve your goals in this respect.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you will be soliciting media, please contact Cook Children's Public Relations at 682-885-1080 prior to making any contact with the media.

Performances

Performances are provided by groups to inspire, entertain and enrich the patients here at Cook Children's. Performances are varied and may be provided by a choir, band, magician or other type of entertainer.

Guidelines:

  • Group performers must be recognized as a group such as a choir or band. They must have public performance experience.
  • Individual entertainers need to submit an example of their performance. This can be on videotape, CD or DVD.
  • Magicians' tricks must be approved in advance. There are some very traditional tricks that don't work well in this unique environment.
  • Latex balloons, which excludes any balloon animals, and live animals may not be included in any performance.
  • All song lyrics and scripts must be submitted with the visitor application.

Guidelines for political or religious content

At Cook Children's, we value community support and the gifts of time and resources that your group is offering to our patients, their families and staff. We want to welcome you and orient you to the customs of our unique culture so that your experience here will be a positive one. As you prepare to meet the deadlines for submitting your group's program/activity request form for approval, please be aware of the following:

  • Any program content related to race, ethnicity, native language, economic status, age, gender, handicapping conditions, etc., is expected to uphold the value of diversity and the principle of treating other people with dignity, as we all wish to be treated. Program content related to sexuality and sexual issues is largely inappropriate for our pediatric population and must be approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program content may include patriotic material, but may not solicit support for a particular party, platform or viewpoint. For example, "Deep in the Heart of Texas" is an appropriate song to be performed; "Vote for ____" is inappropriate.
  • Program content that has a religious non-solicitation policy. We strive to offer the opportunity for all our patients, families and staff to practice the religion of their choice and to protect the rights of families to determine the religious education their children receive. Because we frequently have young, vulnerable patients in the atrium, we have much stricter guidelines about appropriate content than your group may encounter in other settings. Program content may include references to "God's care and protection," for example; but may not solicit toward a particular religion's way of experiencing or relating to God. Thus, "All Things Bright and Beautiful" would be an appropriate selection, while a hymn like "There's Power in the Blood of the Lamb" would be inappropriate. Instrumental music is, of course, welcomed with fewer restrictions. Those persons who speak during a performance are asked to respect the great diversity of beliefs represented here.

Almost every group that wants to offer their talents here understands immediately the constraints imposed by our unique culture and seeks diligently to cooperate for the sake of our patients. If you have difficulty determining whether certain selections will be permitted, we offer content consultation through our Pastoral Care department at 817-885-4030.

Questions?

We thank you in advance for bringing joy to our patients! For more information about this program, as well as other ways to help the patients and Cook Children's, contact Jillian Mitchell at 682-885-4241.