Guideposts Outreach: Comfort Kits For Kids

Two high school seniors in Pennsylvania work with first responders to bring a bit of joy to traumatized children.

Posted in , Sep 25, 2019

Schuyler Ossman and a Guideposts Comfort Kit

My friend and classmate at North Schuylkill Junior Senior High School, Tori Lindenmuth, and I needed to put together a graduation project. We met to brainstorm and ran through what other seniors had done in the past—volunteering their time at animal shelters and collecting canned goods for food pantries. We wanted to do something different.

My mom was helping us research possible options when she came across Guideposts Comfort Kits. “What about these?” she said.

Guideposts Comfort Kits are unique care packages for sick or injured children. They come with a star stuffed toy, a coloring book, stickers and more. They’re usually given to children in hospitals to help them cope with fear and stress.

That’s perfect, I thought, but with this twist: Instead of bringing Comfort Kits to hospitals, what if we gave them to first responders in the Schuylkill County area to hand out? Tori and I were already in contact with volunteer firefighters—our Pennsylvania town is small enough that everybody knows each other.

We called firehouses like Fountain Springs Fire Company and Good Will Fire Company. Four companies in total. All were excited to work with us. The Comfort Kits have proved helpful to kids suffering from all sorts of trauma.

We also found this out by working with Kathleen, a woman I know from church, who operates a counseling service for children, many of whom are in foster care.

“My patients don’t always receive a lot of love at home,” Kathleen explained to us. “They aren’t made to feel special by their guardians. Having something like this could really help.”

One boy was especially thrilled. He picked up the star plushy and hugged it close. Then he turned to Kathleen and said, “This reminds me of heaven.”

Comfort Kits—they’re a little bit of heaven.

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