Carmel teen’s project to help the families of Riley Hospital patients

CARMEL, Ind.  – Children battling life-threatening diseases spend a lot of days in the hospital and the families of the children also feel the toll of those days.

Carmel High School junior Elizabeth McGuckin wanted to give the families something to help get them through their long stays at the hospital.

McGuckin is part of a service class that partners with Riley Hospital for Children. Usually the teens just raise funds, but she wanted to do something more. She started a project called Baskets of Blessings. Through it, she puts together baskets of fun things to do and snacks for family members.

“A lot of times the other family members are the ones having a hard time with this too and are often overlooked,” McGuckin said.

She was inspired by a family at her church that had to spend long days at the hospital last year. Cade Freije fought Wilms tumor, a rare kidney cancer. He’s in remission now.

“I am thankful that we were part of a really great church and walked with God for a lot of years,” Charis Freije said.

The family helped McGuckin pick out a lot of the items for the baskets.

“I think there’s definitely a need and especially for families that have to be inpatient for longer periods I can just see that there would be such a welcome break I think to know that the families are being taken care of especially the ones who are staying the night,” Freije said.

McGuckin is finding sponsors for each basket at $40 each. She’s giving any leftover funds directly to Riley Hospital.  She plans to make the first big donation in February.

“We will box them all up and then we will drive them to Riley Hospital and from there the employees can take them and distribute them,” McGuckin said.

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