Central Ohio families can help pediatric patients.

This monthly feature focuses on volunteer opportunities for Central Ohio families.

For many Central Ohio families looking to get involved in volunteering, an organization that focuses on children is a logical place to start.

“We have parents call in a lot because they want their child to have that experience of giving back,” said Kim Cummin, volunteer program manager with Family and Volunteer Services at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

While hospital volunteers must be 15 or older because of health and confidentiality regulations, there still are numerous ways that younger children and families can help Nationwide Children's and its patients.

Cummin said the best place to start is the indirect services link on the hospital's website, at nationwidechildrens.org/wish-list-for-donations. It explains multiple ways that families, groups and individuals can lend support, including purchasing items from the hospital wish list; assembling activity, crayon or coping bags for patients; assembling care kits for parents; holding book or coloring-book-and-crayon drives; and making blankets or pillows.

“We have such a hugely generous community. Our hospital really depends on things that come in from our community,” Cummin said. “It's just so important to families. Many of them, they're here for months, weeks at a time."

For more information, go to nationwidechildrens.org/volunteering or call 614-722-3635.