For the second year in a row, volunteers from Mercy locations in southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri gathered to assemble blessing bags for the local homeless population.
Mercy co-workers started this project last year as they saw an increased need within the community due to higher numbers of homeless patients seeking medical attention. Deeply touched by the plight of this group, they wanted to find a way to provide much-needed help and shine the light of kindness and hope in their lives.
Last year, co-workers were able to put together 250 blessing bags, containing items such as personal care, laundry soap, and snacks that were donated to six area shelters. This year, the program was expanded. Overall, 650 blessing bags were created, allowing co-workers to make donations to 12 different shelters. Additionally, several toys were donated to provide help and brighten Christmas for several struggling families.
Donations were made to the following locations:
- The Beacon, Fort Scott
- Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries & Outreach Center, Fort Scott
- Salvation Army, Springfield
- Rare Breed, Springfield
- Hearts for the Homeless, Springfield
- Harmony House, Springfield
- Soul’s Harbor, Joplin
- Watered Gardens, Joplin
- Salvation Army, Joplin
- Ministers of Fire, Lebanon
- Pregnancy Support Center, Lebanon
- COPE house, Lebanon
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.