Helping Children with Cancer

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Clinic Food Baskets
Prize Closet Donations
Monetary Gifts
Blood Donations

Gill Center Community Support Options

Families are devastated when they find that their child has cancer. Children’s Medical Center provides treatment with assistance from a diverse team of medical professionals. However, the community provides support in many other ways. This information provided by the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s offers guidance on ways to benefit these families during a difficult time.

Children’s Medical Center diagnoses and treats children from birth to age 18 for cancer. These patients are not only diverse in their ages, but in the types of cancer, treatment, prognosis, culture, spiritual beliefs and home life.

If you know someone personally coping with childhood cancer, the best way to find out what they need is to ask. Many times running errands, picking up the mail, cooking meals, mowing the lawn, doing the laundry or simply being available to listen helps so much.

Many patients receive gifts from their own family and friends. Some families choose to bring gifts to the hospital for the entire unit or to benefit other children, as well. For infection control reasons, some items cannot be accepted as gifts. Therefore, please contact Children’s prior to coordinating your donation.

Gill Center Outreach Manager

Clinic Food Baskets

Patients and their families may spend several hours in clinic. These visits may not allow time away for lunch or snacks. Providing food baskets in the clinic offers families healthy, convenient options that are always greatly appreciated.

Food Basket suggestions
All items need to be in single-serving sizes or packaging

  • Peanut Butter and Crackers
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Individual containers of peanut butter (to put on fruit, graham crackers, etc)
  • Nuts – roasted and out of shell (peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc)
  • Cereal
  • Canned or fruit cups (pears, peaches, pineapple, applesauce, etc.)
  • Fresh baby carrots or celery
  • Fruit leather/dried fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Crackers (saltines, club crackers, graham crackers, goldfish)
  • Pretzels
  • Bottled water/Flavored bottled water
  • Small juice boxes
  • Straws & cups (8 oz or larger)
  • Teddy Grahams
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Jell-O or pudding cups (regular or sugar free)
  • Baked chips
  • Muffins
  • Granola
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Dum Dums pops


Children’s equips the oncology exam rooms, infusion suite and hospital rooms with DVD players for the convenience of patient families. Patients may watch movies while waiting for examinations to help lessen anxiety during lengthy chemotherapy infusions or blood transfusions and hospitalizations. Movies rated G to PG-13 and in many languages are needed.

Prize Closet Donations

The Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders outpatient unit has more than 100 patients visit between the Dallas and Plano campuses for clinic appointments each weekday. Many of these patients undergo invasive procedures such as spinal taps, bone marrow aspirates and blood draws. After completing a procedure, patients choose an item from the Gill Center prize closet. These prizes serve as important distraction and comfort items for children during their treatments.

Prize closet suggestions
All items must be new to prevent infection.

  • Mini Potato Heads
  • Dinosaurs/bugs
  • Mini Lego kits
  • Bubbles (small or ‘bubble tumblers’)
  • Matchbox/ Hot Wheels cars
  • Small costume jewelry
  • Army and parachute men
  • Toddler-age board books
  • Individual small art sets
  • Mini make-up kits/mini nail polish
  • Plastic animals
  • Disney or cartoon-theme items
  • Stickers (Disney characters, animals, scrapbook themes)
  • Journals, themed spiral notebooks
  • Gel pens (colored)
  • Draw-string backpacks
  • Child-friendly tattoos
  • Puzzles (24-100 count)
  • Paint-by-number activity
  • Velvet marker coloring
  • Sun-catcher painting kits
  • Teen bracelet kits
  • Building & painting crafts
  • Whoopee cushions

If you would like to make a food basket, prize closet or movie donation, contact:
Gill Center Outreach Manager

Monetary Gifts

As a private, not-for-profit academic medical center, Children’s relies on the generosity of our community to support its mission to make life better for children.

Give now or for information about giving, please contact Children’s Medical Center Foundation


If you would like to volunteer at Children's Medical Center in the Gill Center, contact Volunteer Services.

Blood Donations

Cancer patients receive many different types of blood products during treatment. Children’s receives these products by life-saving donations made through Carter BloodCare, the community not-for-profit blood center in North Central and East Texas.

Contact Carter BloodCare for more information about:

  • Donor eligibility
  • Blood drives for a specific patient
  • Different types of donations

Carter BloodCare