SWEETWATER COUNTY – Emergency bags filled with everything from a toothbrush to a notebook recently were donated to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County by the Relief Society of Green River’s 6th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The idea originated during a Relief Society presentation by one of its members.
The church member explained how her little boy had been hit by a car three years prior. She spoke to the church group about the events as they unfolded that day.
Danel LaRose and Ivy Kropf were among those who listened to the presentation.
The mother spoke of the rushed moments in which her son was treated at Memorial Hospital and then transported by air ambulance to another hospital.
“In that moment, she was by herself, with her boy on this air ambulance. And nothing; that’s it. She had nothing until her family got there. She didn’t have a purse. She just jumped in and went,” LaRose said.
“I thought ‘crud, she probably needed a hair tie, Ibuprofen, things like that.”
The idea for “Blessing Bags” was born.
Kropf said she, too, has been in that type of emergency situation and liked the idea of putting a kit together.
About 30 women with the Relief Society helped gather donations and created the one-gallon plastic bags stuffed with a variety of necessities, including deodorant, a granola bar, tissues, a notebook and pen, a bottle of water, Band-Aids, wipes, a toothbrush and Kropf’s handmade soap.
These bags will be used in the hospital’s Emergency Department, said hospital Volunteer Services Director Janae Gale.
Nurses and health care workers can give them to family members when loved ones are being taken by air ambulance to another hospital.
“When patients are transferred, family members aren’t always thinking about what to take with them, they just want to get to the destination their loved one has been taken. These Blessing Bags will ensure that they have some of the necessities that they didn’t have time to grab. I know our patient’s families will appreciate having these and one less thing to think about while they are already feeling anxious and stressed,” Gale said.
The Relief Society wants to maintain the number of bags available and plans to replenish the hospital’s supplies when they are low.
This is something that will benefit the entire community.
“When you hear the chopper go over, everyone stops and prays,” Kropf said. “You don’t know that person in there. This is a way of letting them know that we know … We’re with you, even if we can’t be with you.”
LaRose and Kropf know there will be a moment when someone in an emergency medical situation will wish for a simple hair tie.