Story and photos by Crystal Hayduk
A group of women gathered on the evening of Aug. 14 at Immanuel Bible Church (IBC) on Summit Street to help pack boxes for Hearts of Hope, a local non-profit ministry that exists to serve those who have experienced late-term miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.
Kitty Golding, one of the founders of Hearts of Hope, spoke to the ladies about how she and Michelle Bazick formed Hearts of Hope after the loss of their own babies in 2000 to help meet the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of parents.
“Years ago, women often left the hospital following the death of a baby with little or nothing to help support their needs during a time of loss,” Golding said.
But since the first care package was delivered in 2002, as many as 150 to 200 women each year receive support boxes after a loss. Many of those happen through a handful of area hospitals that choose to give them to patients as needed; others are mailed around the country upon request.
IBC deaconess Patti Feeney said that it has been the desire of the leadership of Women’s Ministries to do a service project on a regular basis.
“We want to take the mission statement (of the church) and make it happen,” she said. When the women met several months ago to decide which project could mark the start of the 2014-15 season, everyone had the same idea – to help Hearts of Hope in some way.
Church member Debra Grysen, said that she is “in awe” that Golding and Bazick have done something so constructive to encourage others out of the pain of their personal tragedies.
Stephanie DeMaagd, an emergency room nurse, said that helping with Hearts of Hope allows her to provide care for people that she can’t otherwise be physically present to help.
Some women lined the beautiful boxes with tiny baby blankets made by Marlene Golding, Kitty’s mother-in-law, then added books, teddy bears, mugs, tea bags, journals, and tissues; while others worked on cutting printed paper and putting together booklets. During the work session, stories were shared, and prayer was offered for those who would eventually receive the baskets.
For more information about Immanuel Bible Church, click here.