We love supporting local organizations and surprising and delighting those who need it most. Giving back has always been an important part of our brand DNA at Vera Bradley, so it should come as no surprise that Random Acts of Kindness Day is always a big day for us. Last year we surprised cancer patients and their nurses at local Fort Wayne, Indiana hospitals with gifts of comfort including a cozy throw blanket and new bag to put their necessities in when traveling to treatments. It was such an impactful day for everyone involved, so we knew we wanted to step it up even more this year.
For this Random Acts of Kindness Day, we partnered with Basket of Hope, an organization dedicated to delivering hope and kindness to patients and families coping with serious illnesses. Our team drove down to Indianapolis last week to the Ronald McDonald House, which houses families with sick children while they’re seeking treatment at nearby hospitals. These families may be at the Ronald McDonald House anywhere from days to months at a time, receiving lodging, meals and support for little to no cost.
We surprised the 58 families and entire staff with dinner, treats, and of course, baskets for the children and kindness kits for the family. Each child’s basket is filled with age-appropriate games, toys, books and activities to bring them joy and give them something to do while they’re undergoing treatment. The kindness kits for the families included a cozy throw blanket, books, a new travel bag and accessories to make their stay and frequent travel as comfortable and seamless as possible. We also surprised the nurses of Riley’s Children Hospital (the primary hospital for the families of the Ronald McDonald House) with a new bag as well.
“It is rewarding to give the families a beam of hope in their time of despair. As a family that had received a Basket of Hope during my son’s treatment for leukemia, it was nice to feel that you aren’t alone when going through such a difficult time. The basket delivery provides encouragement and support for the entire family when you need it the most.”
– Patty Meade, Program Coordinator at Basket of Hope – Indianapolis Branch
By teaming up with Basket of Hope, we were able to spread kindness to even more families and children struggling with illness. In addition to the 58 families at the Indianapolis Ronald McDonald House location, we also sent an additional 200 baskets to families at children’s hospitals across the country. Learn more about Basket of Hope and how you can get involved here. There are Ronald McDonald Houses across the country — find one near you.