Boston Children’s Hospital partners with Vistaprint Corporate to offer holiday cards
Did you know Americans purchase approximately 1.6 billion holiday cards* each year? Yes, billion with a B. In this digital age, people are keeping up the tradition of sending physical holiday cards to family, friends, and business associates. One thing that’s changed, however, is how they’re buying cards. More and more people are turning to online vendors to create customized greetings.
The fundraising staff at Boston Children’s Hospital are tasked with raising as much money as possible to help the hospital meet demand for its services, so they must keep thinking of new ways to encourage giving. They came up with the idea for creating their own holiday card store by posing a simple question about the volume of cards sold each holiday season and how that market is changing.
“We just figured, if consumers and companies and families are buying custom cards anyway, why not buy them from us and support a great cause at the same time?” explains Charles Savicki, Director of Corporate Initiatives at Boston Children’s Hospital Trust.
To create the Bostonchildrens.org/holidaycards store, the hospital had to find a partner to provide the technology and an online storefront so that 100% of net proceeds could go to the hospital, and not to start up, development, and operation costs.
“We’re always on the lookout for companies that have an interest in supporting Boston Children’s. Vistaprint Corporate has been wonderful—from the first conversation, to what they’ve made possible,” Savicki says about choosing Vistaprint Corporate as their retail partner who is donating resources for maintaining the holiday card store.
Shoppers who visit Bostonchildrens.org/holidaycards can do more than choose from numerous designs to suit their tastes. The interface Vistaprint Corporate built allows users to customize their own greeting on a card so it says exactly what they want. For example, a user can make a card cover with a Faneuil Hall winter scene say “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” or whatever message would be appropriate. It’s not just Boston and New England scenes available—there are corporate-themed and abstract designs offered as well.
If shoppers don’t find a design they like, they can upload a photo on a blank card template and make their own card. This upload and print feature allows users to get creative not just with design, but with how they use the card. “Take a picture of the team at the company, put it on a card, and send it to all your vendors for the year. Or have your child draw an original piece of holiday artwork and make that your family’s card,” Savicki suggests as clever uses for blank card templates.
What holiday card proceeds accomplish
A personalized holiday card lets you send a more meaningful or heartfelt message to your recipients. If you purchase your custom holiday cards from Bostonchildrens.org/holidaycards, you also help a lot of kids and their families.
Boston Children’s Hospital treats 600,000-plus patients each year. Because it is ranked as the number one children’s hospital in the U.S., families travel from across the country and even internationally to seek care for their child. The hospital relies on generous support to provide medical attention to this many patients, several of whom are children with very complex conditions to treat.
One hundred percent of net proceeds from holiday card sales goes to the hospital’s Every Child Fund, which benefits the hospital’s areas of greatest need. Many services that make Boston Children’s a top hospital are not covered by health care insurance. The Every Child Fund allows the hospital to fund research, procure specialized equipment, and provide extra support to patients and their families who endure stress and financial hardships in the process of providing care for their child.
The Child Life Team is one program completely funded by philanthropy and initiatives such as the holiday card line. Members of this interdisciplinary team help young patients adjust to being in a hospital and try to make it happier experience. For example, the team provides art therapy, pet therapy, and even medical play which helps educate patients about their treatment and explore their healing progress. By addressing the emotional and developmental needs of children, the team’s activities promote recovery and ensure that patients don’t miss out on the joys of childhood, such as celebrating birthdays, holidays, and the special memories associated with them.
A concern many patients have around the holidays is whether Santa Claus knows they are in the hospital and not at home. The Child Life Team sets up a video conference with Santa who is busy in the North Pole working on toys for boys and girls around the world.
Santa on FaceTime assures patients, “Yes, I see you’re there in Room 305! And you’re there with your sister and your mom and your dad. Don’t worry I got you covered on Christmas!”
Savicki explains, “To be a fly on that wall in that room is something else because the kids are overjoyed. It’s, ‘We’re good to go! Santa knows that we’re here!’”
You can help provide kids uplifting moments like this and more. If you participate in the flurry of holiday cards going out this year, make your personalized greetings extra special by purchasing from Bostonchildrens.org/holidaycards.
And if you happen to be an early shopper who already took care of buying holiday cards, please help spread the word about this opportunity to shop and give back to kids.