inde Books and Masks for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital – Kind Cotton

By Kaitlin Johnstone

Books and Masks for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

I thought I knew love prior to being a mom. Quite frankly there was a time Kev and I discussed not having children and if that is who you are and how you feel, those feelings are valid. Now that I am a mother, there is nothing in the world that could ever make me happier and more complete than holding Kenzie in my arms. Along with being a parent comes this intense feeling of needing to protect your child. I often compare it to Jon Snow’s dire need to protect the wall from the White Walkers. It is my duty to ensure that my little girl is happy, healthy, and safe. Now that Game of Thrones is over, I have officially become the protector of the realm; self-proclaimed for the moment, unless HBO wants to give me the official title after seeing that 20 people read this blog 😂  I digress. My point is when your child is sick, it's as if your brain immediately goes into fight or flight mode. All you want to do is get to the root of their discomfort and make it go away immediately. After months of Kenzie battling fevers for no apparent reason the day came in which we had to have blood work and a urine collection. As our doctor went through the options with us she kept insisting that the last place we wanted to go would be the hospital, so we opted to have testing done there. She was only 5 and a half months old and as her eyes welled up with tears, I felt as if my heart was being pulled directly from my chest. Thankfully, she is better than ever, but the thought of her going to the hospital has sat with me since then.


We have not attended our reading program since March 12th. Although we knew of COVID then, I never would have imagined that we would go this long without being there. I miss sharing stories with the kids. I miss the projects and the laughs. I miss how excited they were every time they would get a new book.

Our most recent visit

Kind Cotton is built on being more than a simple book donation. We take pride in building relationships and making learning meaningful. With the pandemic, we have been trying our best to still get books in the hands of kids. Our partnership with First Book provided over 5,000. We have donated to various YMCAs across the country and most recently you helped us in donating 250 books to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital!

When I reached out to Emily about donations, she informed me that they have upwards of 200 patients daily at their hospital and that they are always in need of books. When we hung up the phone I stepped outside and sat on our porch. I needed a moment to empathize with these families. I cannot imagine the fear they must be feeling, the questions they must be asking themselves, the immense courage they have. Somehow becoming a mother has also made me much weepier. However, if you ask my friends of 20+ years they would probably laugh and say I’ve always been the sentimental one of the group. I mean, I did bring a box of first-boyfriend-memories to our hometown bar two years ago to share with all of them. I even managed to save a bagel wrapper from Dunkin Donuts for 15 years; please tell me I am not the only one! But I think if there is one common thread amongst people, we can all agree that seeing a child hurt, or sick is something we would all fix by any means possible.

I recognize that providing books to children in the hospital does not fix the hurt, but we are hoping it brings a little bit of light. Maybe a bedtime story can offer an escape. Thanks to all of you we were recently able to provide 250 books to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital along with masks for patients and employees.

Our goal is to continue to find new ways to put books in the hands of children in the safest way possible. If you know of any school/organization in need please let us know. We would love to help out!

1 comment

  • I love that you gave both masks and books to Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital. It is significant to me because I grew up in Baltimore. I now live in North Carolina. There are two children’s hospitals near me here that I’m sure would also greatly appreciate masks and books. They are Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Health and Duke Children’s Hospital. I’m sure you receive plenty of great suggestions. I do not have a personal connection or contact at Brenner or Duke but I have several former students who have needed to spend time there for various reasons.

    Meg Coscia on

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