Sanctuary in Lawrenceville and Rhema Christian School team up to show Christ’s love to parents in the hospital with their children.
Thirty-two “comfort bags” were distributed to the parents of children admitted to the Intensive Care Units at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh by Sanctuary and Rhema Christian School on June 16. The “comfort bags” were stuffed full with toiletries, notepads, stickers, cards, and a personal note of encouragement to the parents from students at Rhema Christian School.
Having a child admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is a scary and anxious time. The fact that such admittances are often unexpected means few parents are prepared to stay at the hospital, adding to the stress. Local church planter the Rev. Tracey Russell of Sanctuary in Lawrenceville saw this firsthand when a friend’s child was admitted to Children’s Hospital. This experience inspired a service project. “My friend needed basic comfort items—things like chap stick and shampoo. I was easily able to bring her those since I live so close to the hospital, but what about all those other parents?” Russell wondered.
After discussing what items might be helpful with her friend, Russell pitched the idea of providing comfort bags for parents to Sanctuary’s leadership team. The team was excited about the idea and immediately started organizing it with the Child Life team at Children’s Hospital.
Things really started rolling after Sanctuary’s prayer letter went out.
Russell explains, “One of our prayer partners is a teacher at Rhema Christian School in Moon Township. She loved the idea and shared it with two other teachers. Before I knew it, the entire second, third and fourth grades were asking if they could join us in this outreach!”
Teachers Kathryn Loucks, Corbi Pollack and Carol Fahmy asked the families of their students for donations for the comfort bags. The generosity of the families meant the assembly of 32 comfort bags.
“One of our core values as a church is service, so we were really excited to be able to serve the parents at Children’s Hospital in this way. I think the best part was the notes the children wrote to the parents. What an encouragement it will be to those parents, knowing that a child they’ve never even met cares so much,” Russell said.