Donate to Child and Family Life

Support Child and Family Life by giving a gift to these programs today!

Child and Family Life Team

Hospitalization and medical procedures can be stressful and anxiety-inducing for kids, so our child and family life team is committed to supporting our young patients and their families. The child and family life team at Helen DeVos Children’s hospital welcomes donations to give the children (and their families) the most comfortable experience possible. Support to this program helps to fund the amazing work that our child and family life team accomplishes for the children in our hospital, every day. Certified child life specialists have college degrees in areas like child development, psychology, education or therapeutic recreation.

Child life specialists support children and their families by:

  • Minimizing fear and stress
  • Providing education prior to medical procedures and offer support during procedures
  • Supporting the patient in the context of his or her family, culture and developmental stage
  • Engaging and energizing children and families through play, music therapy and special events
  • Reducing educational concerns due to hospitalizations
  • Providing support for families and siblings who may be affected by a diagnosis, illness, trauma or grief
  • Offering radiology and surgery pre-procedural tours to help familiarize the setting
  • Encouraging parent and caregiver participation in their child’s health care

Give a gift to child and family life

Your support is brightening the everyday life of kids of all ages, consider supporting this program today

Features of child and family life

You are playing an important role in the healing process and helping children, and their families learn to cope with the stress that follows hospitalization. Your funding helps to support some of the following services:

Play therapy

Child and family life team members maintain specially equipped playrooms that are safe, stress-free places for patients and their siblings to play. If your child is unable to participate in playroom activities, bedside play is available for all ages. Donations of toy, games, arts and crafts supplies (and more) are welcome. Contact the Spectrum Health Foundation team to schedule a drop off and learn about our donation safety guidelines.

Music therapy

The Edward and June Prein Family Music Therapy Program is founded on this established health profession that utilizes musical interventions to address specific goals for individuals of all ages. Studies show that music therapy improves the overall medical experience and has lasting benefits for children in the pediatric hospital setting. Your support can help bring the healing power of music to the children staying in our hospital.

Here at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, music therapy has been used to reduce anxiety and stress, manage pain and discomfort, increase feelings of control, provide sensory stimulation, promote self-expression, encourage compliance with treatment and improve coping skills. It also provides the unique opportunity to involve the whole family in a way that promotes bonding, relaxation and meaningful time spent together.

Our board-certified music therapists provide services between all inpatient units, including NICU, as well as the hematology/oncology clinic and dialysis clinics.

Hospital school program

We believe that a child’s school experience supports the healing process. Our hospital school program helps to provide normalcy and assist in a smooth transition back to the classroom. The Dick and Linda Antonini Hospital School Program is here to bridge the gap between schools, families and the medical team, reduce future educational concerns due to medical issues, provide educational opportunities during treatment, and maintain involvement in normal routines.

Liaison services

Children with chronic medical conditions are eligible to receive academic support. Our educational liaison collaborates with community schools to assist children with meeting educational milestones.


WIZkids provides hands-on activities and academic support for patients five to 18 years of age. Every weekday morning during the school year, patients watch a video of the day. School-age patients then meet as a group, when possible, to work on activities related to the lesson in the daily video, or an activity packet can be delivered.

Tutoring services

Any K-12 child is eligible for tutoring with the support of our teacher volunteers, as available. These sessions are held in the hospital schoolroom or at the bedside, depending upon the child’s medical needs.

Give a gift to child and family life

To support all of these wonderful programs, consider making a donation to child and family life today!

Child Life Team