Jackie (left) and
Shelby McGowan with Pediatric staff nurse
Jennifer Donahue, RN.
The Pediatric Unit at Bryn Mawr Hospital received a donation of 68 “Busy
Boxes” from Jackie and Shelby McGowan, elementary school students who
live in Wayne. Busy Boxes are shoebox size plastic containers filled
with age-appropriate toys, games and activities to occupy and amuse
young patients while they are hospitalized and after they go home.
Busy Boxes are the brainchild of Jackie and Shelby’s mother, Jen
McGowan. While planning a birthday party a few years ago, Jen thought to
herself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of birthday presents, we
ask kids to bring a Busy Box to cheer up a sick child at Bryn Mawr
Hospital?” Simple suggestions for putting together a Busy Box were
inserted in the party invitations. The response was overwhelming.
Since then, the Busy Box project has taken off as other families,
schools, churches and businesses have jumped on board. “Busy Bags” are
now being collected for children being treated in the Emergency
Department’s Pediatric unit.
Jen explains. “Bryn Mawr Hospital, and especially the pediatric
emergency unit, has been a blessing to our family. We are unbelievably
lucky to have such an innovative and reliable hospital close to where we
live. The hospital has given us so much, the least my family could do is
give something back.”
Jackie and Shelby McGowan didn’t think twice about asking their friends
to bring Busy Boxes in lieu of presents to their birthday parties again
this year. All told, they collected 68 one-of-a-kind, lovingly
assembled boxes of fun and delivered them to the BMH Pediatric Unit on
Speaking for her daughters, Jen McGowan shared that her girls are
delighted to continue the tradition of children giving to children and
proud that many of their friends have chosen to do the same at their
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.