Directing comfort through a Compass of Faith

By The Catholic Accent

IRWIN – For Emma Reese, it was an idea that came to her in prayer. The 16–year-old felt she was being called to expand a program she created earlier this year to comfort those in memory care or receiving treatment for cancer.

Last November, Reese started working on the service project ”Compass of Faith,” collecting donations and supplies to make care bins.

“Each bin differs and may contain a blanket or neck pillow, an activity book and pen, hard candy, a cozy item like gloves, and ChapStick or a hand sanitizer,” Reese said.

Reese reached out to the faith formation students in her home parish, Immaculate Conception Parish, Irwin, for help. They wrote personal notes in cards for each care bin.

Reese was overwhelmed with the help. She was able to collect enough donations and items to create 100 care bins, which were distributed at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and the Sisters of Charity’s Elizabeth Seton Memory Care Center.

“We chose UPMC Hillman Cancer Center because we have family members who have battled cancer and that is where our pastor, Father John Moineau, is being treated, and the sisters were suggested to me through an alumnus of Notre Dame University,” Reese explained.

Reese, a junior in the gifted program at Norwin High School, hopes to attend Notre Dame for strategic manangement.

Reese hopes to collect new donations, both monetary and supplies, to create and distribute another 100 care bins. She has reached out to several parishes, including Mother of Sorrows Parish, Murrysville, and St. Agnes and Elizabeth Ann Seton Parishes, North Huntingdon, for help. She has also enlisted the help of the Notre Dame Club of Greensburg/Uniontown.

While her effort may benefit the sick and the lonely, Reese hopes her project brings the young Church closer to those in the community.

“One of the big things for me is facilitating a connection between today’s youth and seniors,” Reese explained. “In these care facilities there is a social cutoff. Some of these people may not have family. I want to make sure they know there is a family behind them and rooting for them.”

For more information about Compass of Faith, visit her page on Facebook here. There is also a link to her Go Fund Me page.


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