ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Thanks to Pennsylvania Knights, children leaving the emergency room have new clothing to wear on their return home.
Knights from Cathedral Assembly 3298 in Allentown, were making a Coats for Kids donation at a local hospital when staff informed them of a growing concern — many kids who visit the emergency room have nothing to wear on their return home since often their clothes have been cut off so that medics can treat them.
“Their families may not have the time, money or transportation to get new clothes for them before they are discharged,” said John Fitzpatrick, a member of Assembly 3298 who leads the initiative.
The Knights responded with the “Don’t Sweat It” program. They assemble gift bags containing sweat pants, tops and socks in various sizes and donate them to hospitals in Allentown.
Each bag includes a note: “Don’t Sweat It! Cathedral Assembly 3298 Allentown, PA has you covered. Hope you feel better soon!”
The clothes are simple — no logos, images or words on them, so that every patient can feel comfortable wearing them. Now, when children come into the hospital, their parents don’t have to worry about finding their kids something to wear home.
Assembly 3298 is part of the Knights of Columbus Patriotic Degree, the branch of the Knights of Columbus. In addition to the “Don’t Sweat It” program, Assembly 3298 supports a veteran resource center that provides counseling and assists veterans in applying for health insurance, and provides food, clothing and personal items for them.
Fitzpatrick said the hospital staff thanks the Knights profusely. They have worked with Carolee Gifford, a staff chaplain at St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus — Lehigh Valley’s only Catholic hospital. She sent them a kind thank-you note.
“What a lovely, thoughtful way to spread the Knights’ love!” Gifford said. “I have long admired your wonderful organization!”
Fitzpatrick says the program is still in its early stages but has great hope for its further success.
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