Junior works to brighten hospital stays with gifts

Jae Stanberry spreads positivity through Packages of Hope

Junior+Jae+Stanberry+packs+a+weighted+aromatherapy+teddy+bear+into+a+bag+for+a+patient+Feb.+20.+Stanberry+stores+supplies+and+boxes+in+her+room+to+assemble+the+packages+she+makes.

Kaia Myers

Junior Jae Stanberry packs a weighted aromatherapy teddy bear into a bag for a patient Feb. 20. Stanberry stores supplies and boxes in her room to assemble the packages she makes.

Kaia Myers

What is Packages of Hope? Packages of Hope is emotional-based rather than charity. I put together care packages fit to one’s needs and hand deliver or ship them out to patients.

What is the mission of Packages of Hope? Our saying is “giving a different type of care than in a hospital” or also “delivering one package at a time.”

Why did you decide to start this organization? I’ve been in the hospital a lot for different surgeries, mental health, my parents have been sick, friends and other family too. It’s always dull and there’s not a whole bunch of interesting stuff there. Let alone, when you’re in the hospital, you don’t really get a bunch of hope because you’re just there. You’re a patient and there’s nurses. We want to be there to be the highlight.

What does a typical package look like? I have an application process with a Google form. It typically asks about what things you like to do. (The boxes) are all customized. Other generic things I include are hats, scarves, stickers, coloring pages, paint supplies, or fidgets, that’s a big one. I also put in hospital gowns, which aren’t normal and so dull and boring, they’re from Gift Gowns that have peace signs, little quotes and things like that. I include anything that’s not dull, something with colors or meaning that’s bright.

What is your goal with Packages of Hope? The biggest thing is to bring a smile and offer a sense of hope because that’s what kiddos and teens need the most today.

You’re participating in the Polar Plunge, what is your goal with doing it? It’s not completely related to Packages of Hope. However, I’m trying to have at least two-thirds of the funds go toward Packages of Hope. Otherwise I’ll find a hospital — and I’m thinking Children’s Minnesota — to do a big donation.

How can Park students get involved?The biggest thing for right now is donations. I’ve been needing some self care supplies, things like that. Or little stickers, stuffed animals, little blankets or detoxifiers. Donations are helpful. Otherwise, also just sometimes helping me put together the package. Students can contact me through my Instagram, @packages.of.hope.