Finding yourself in the emergency room can be a scary experience for anyone, especially children. But, with the help of students from Trader’s Point Christian Academy who created comfort bags, it’s a little less so.
“When kids get into the emergency room, they are often evaluated and then they have to wait a while. They might be in pain or feel sick and when they are presented with a comfort bag with a stress ball to squeeze and other activities to do, it helps distract them,” said Karynn Seppel, whose son is a student at TPCA. “It’s also helpful to keep another sibling occupied.”
The project began when students were praying for a friend who was in the ER. They talked about ways they could help.
“I told them, you know, there are grants available for kids to do these sorts of projects,” Seppel said.
The kids did all the legwork on the project, including researching how much the items they wanted to include in the comfort bags would cost.
“They couldn’t afford to buy stuffed animals and books so they asked kids at school to give out of the blessings that they had,” Seppel said.
Seppel had helped the students in her son’s class do a similar project when they were third graders, but this time the project was much larger. They were able to donate 500 comfort bags to Witham Health Services at Anson.
“Often, when you are going to emergency room, you are in a hurry and you don’t always grab all the things you need. This time, we also put together bags for infants that included things like teething rings,” Seppel said. “Parents would call and thank the school for donating the comfort bags and told us how it helped their children cope when they were in the emergency room.”
Art teachers at the school also got involved and all 650 students, including the preschoolers, made get well cards to include in the comfort bags.
“Some of the families told us they were really touched that their child received a hand-made card from someone their age,” she said.
TPCA families donated so many books and stuffed animals to the project that the service class was able to present another 143 bags to local police and fire departments.
“When there are house fires or car fires, there is often a fireman gathering information from the family who can present a comfort bag to the children if he feels like it would be helpful,” Seppel said. “It helps to keep all the kids together in one centralized location and will help soothe them.”
Just another example of kids helping kids – and making a difference.
(Additional information for this story was provided by Karynn Seppel, TPCA parent.)