Charleston may be one of the country’s prime tourist destinations, but for families who are traveling to the Holy City to visit a sick patient, an extended stay in a hospital waiting room isn’t quite an ideal vacation.

That’s why a local nonprofit called Palmetto Palace tries to make their stay a little easier.

The group packed 350 “waiting room survival kits” Thursday morning, complete with essentials like toothbrushes, pillows and blankets — and a few fun non-essentials, including crossword puzzles.

Volunteers for the nonprofit delivered the kits to local hospitals Thursday afternoon.

Palmetto Palace also helps these families book local hotel rooms at low rates, said Youlanda Gibbs, founder and executive director of Palmetto Palace.

“For every night we provide, we provide a meal so that they not only have a place to stay, they also have a hot meal at the hospital cafeterias. And the hotels that we partner in with, they have transportation. That’s a win-win,” she said.

Items for the kits were donated by Charleston-based groups, including The Women’s Missionary Society of Ebenezer AME Church, which sewed 350 pillows, and students at Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary School, who donated pens, books and other items.

Select Health of South Carolina, a company that manages one of the state’s Medicaid plans, donated hundreds of cloth bags for the kits.

“When people need care, sometimes they’re in crisis and that’s what the Palmetto Palace is all about — helping people who are in crisis,” said Cindy Helling, executive director of Select Health.

Palmetto Palace, founded in 2010, needs volunteers, Gibbs said, especially a volunteer coordinator and a grant researcher.

Visit www.thepalmettopalace.com for more information.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.