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By Kristin Bogaerts
First and foremost, I would like to thank Pastor Manisha and Christ Church Cranbrook for the opportunity to provide snacks and drinks to our local frontline hospital workers. The idea to collect snacks did not originate with me, but was inspired by a social media post I saw on Facebook, a post written by a grateful nurse who had been given a treat bag at work. Inside the bag was a drink, a candy bar, chips and a note with the following scripture:
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help him” -Hebrews 6:10
I loved this treat bag idea, and the uplifting scripture that was included. What a beautiful way to show appreciation for these amazing heroes, who risk so much, and work so hard. After more Facebook “research”, it was apparent that hospitals had a need for snack donations like this one, especially in the late night hours, due to cafeteria closures, and lack of time.
After brainstorming on how to get started with the treat bag idea, my sister-in-law, Jessica Neeper, suggested approaching CCC for help. I am so grateful to Pastor Manisha for her willingness to take on this project and I’m so grateful for her patience and wisdom in helping me set up the guidelines. We posted directions on how to donate on the church website and Facebook page. The project took off quickly after Father Bill made an announcement during church service. I was pleasantly surprised when parishioners started dropping off goodies on my porch! They donated money, gift bags, homemade masks, soaps, bulk food items, gatorade, water, sparkling water, and energy drinks. Even a girl scout troop was involved!!!
Jessica and I made our first delivery to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, on Friday, April 10th. They have a special entrance for deliveries, and you are not allowed to enter the hospital. My trunk was filled to the brim, and the donation coordinator had to call for “backup” because we had more than he expected. Jessica took pictures. We asked that the items be delivered to COVID- Specific units, to Environmental Services (housekeeping) and to Case Management and Social Work (the often forgotten heroes). My favorite part was receiving the email from the Henry Ford donations coordinator. She thanked us profusely for the donations and shared that the staff loved “the endearing notes” attached.
Over Easter Weekend, and Monday and Tuesday, I had enough on my front porch & inside my house to fill my trunk again. Jessica and I made our second delivery to DMC Harper Hospital in Detroit on Tuesday, April 14th. We specifically donated to the nurse anesthetists and ER. Jessica took more pictures! It was a beautiful feeling, to be a part of something impactful.
I feel so very blessed and my heart is so full by the good works of you faithful servants. I cannot thank you enough, especially when it is such a difficult time to give. I would love to continue delivering donations, if there is still interest in supplying. At this time, we have one more delivery planned for early next week to St. Joes in Pontiac. We would love your help!! Thank you for letting me share my experience with you!
Kristen recently moved back to the Birmingham area after 8 years of living in Raleigh, NC. She enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her 3 daughters, husband Xander, and her two dogs. She is very excited to be a part of the CCC community again, and looks forward to meeting new friends.