DAVENPORT, IOWA (February 28, 2024) — In a heartwarming display of compassion, students from All Saints Catholic School in Davenport, Iowa, have dedicated the past three months to creating chemo care-bags to support an initiative of Gilda’s Club Quad Cities. From hand-painting canvas bags to collecting care items and hand crafting Valentines, these students have poured their hearts into this meaningful service project.

Gilda’s Club provides a variety of no-cost services and programs for those being impacted by cancer in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas. One initiative that has an ever-growing need has been the chemo care-bag program. Each bag is filled with items to bring a smile and help individuals feel more prepared and comfortable when going into treatment for the very first time. Over one hundred of these bags are handed out monthly at the various cancer centers in the area.

This initiative came about after Judith Costello, a paraeducator at All Saints Catholic School, shared with Principal Mindy Altman her personal journey with cancer and her intention to wear scarves to school. Touched by Costello's resilience, the school recognized an opportunity to educate students about cancer's impact and the importance of compassion.

Nora Bosslet, Children, Teen & Family Coordinator at Gilda’s Club provided a presentation to students last December, explaining the importance of the chemo care-bags they were planning to make. Bosslet commended the students' enthusiasm following a Cancer 101 presentation. "The students at All Saints were really engaged with the Cancer 101 presentation I did in December. They had a lot of good questions! We loved the Chemo Care bags they designed."

From Kindergarten to eighth grade, students adorned each bag with a hand-painted Japanese Plum branch, symbolizing hope as the first to flower at the end of winter. Additionally, they painted images of hope on rocks to accompany the care packages. Parents of the students contributed to the initiative by sending in items such as fuzzy socks, hard candies, journals, and more, enhancing the comfort and support offered by each bag.

The presentation of these chemo care-bags represents more than a simple donation; it embodies the students' unwavering commitment to supporting cancer patients and their profound understanding of empathy, compassion, and community service. Through their actions, they demonstrate the profound impact of small gestures of kindness and the transformative power of solidarity.

About Gilda’s Club Quad Cities

Gilda's Club Quad Cities, along with our Cancer Support Community partners, uplifts, and strengthens people impacted by cancer by providing support, fostering compassionate communities, and breaking down barriers to care.

Gilda’s Club Quad Cities is now located on both sides of the river at 1351 W Central Park Ave, Suite 200, (Genesis West) Davenport, IA 52804 and 600 John Deere Road Suite 101, (UnityPoint Health) Moline, IL 61265.

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