Tickets for hospitalized children: 500K and counting

Tickets for hospitalized children: 500K and counting

CHICAGO — Once upon a time, about 10 years ago, WGN’s Medical Watch team met Jen Rubino.

At the time, Rubino was a patient lying in a hospital bed recovering from major reconstructive surgery when she received a kind, yet simple gesture.

Someone made her a card.


“At the time I had just undergone major surgery here in Lurie [Children’s Hospital]’ Rubino said of the experience. “I had been given a card when I was in the hospital, and it really meant a lot to me… so at that point I wanted to help others in the same way.”

Rubino – a Park Ridge native and former gymnast – founded Cards for Hospitalized Kids shortly after. Ten years later, the organization has helped deliver more than 500,000 handmade cards to children recovering from various medical conditions in hospitals across the country.

Thousands of people have volunteered to help the organization, but what helped Cards for Hospitalized Kids grow so quickly was the endorsement of celebrities like Lauren Conrad and Aly Raisman.

“It meant a lot to me personally,” Rubino said. “It was so impressive and was really a big part of why children’s cards were able to grow so quickly.”

Now a college student, Rubino combines her studies with running her nonprofit, which she has no intention of slowing down.

“I’d like to keep it that way,” Rubino said. “We’ve had such great support, I think that will be possible.”

If you’d like to volunteer for Cards for Hospitalized Kids — or earn service hours — you can visit their website for more information.


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