|Church provides 'lids for kids' to cancer ward
Cancer patient Kelsie Karnes wears
a purple bandana provided by the Lids for Kids ministry of Good
Shepherd United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn.
UMNS Web-only photos by Terry Bulger.
By Lilla Marigza*
May 18, 2007 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)
Bald heads are the norm around the cancer ward at Vanderbilt
Children's Hospital, where chemotherapy typically robs young patients of
both their hair and their youthful energy.
But brightly colored hats in all styles are a welcome special
delivery that brings smiles to children fighting the ravages of the
Through the "Lids for Kids" ministry of Good Shepherd United Methodist
Church in nearby Hendersonville, a group of United Methodist Men
collected nearly a thousand hats this year as part of its annual service
Vanderbilt Children's Hospital patient Alijah Prado is all smiles in three hats.
"This is faith in action. … It's putting feet on prayers," says the Rev. Allen Weller, senior pastor of the congregation.
Or, more specifically, lids on kids.
Two-year-old Cody lights up when handed a green plastic Army hat "just like Daddy wears," according to the toddler's mom.
In the next room, 6-year-old Alijah Prado studies three hats - a knit
cap with bright blue flames, a Tennessee Titans football cap and a
Nashville Predators hockey hat. He finally decides to wear all three at
In 2006, church members donated around a hundred hats. This year, the
harvest was tenfold as word of the ministry spread. "People love to
help, people like to share, people like to care, and this was such a
simple but important way," says Weller.
Members of the church youth group decorated large collection bins for
the cause. Alissa Walker, 16, gets especially excited when she comes
upon hats donated just for little girls "There's just a bunch of guy
hats, but when the girls see the cute little frilly hats, they'll get
real excited," she says.
Church member Alissa Walker sorts hats donated to Lids for Kids.
The lids are sorted and sterilized and then delivered in person on a
cart pushed from room to room at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
Volunteers try to match hats to kids.
Two-year-old Matthew quickly tries on one bearing the name of his
favorite movie. Though it's adult-sized and must be adjusted
accordingly, the grin on Matthew's face indicates the lid is a perfect
fit. "It's always good to see him smile and laugh … and when you hand
him a Star Wars hat, it always perks his little face up," says mom Gina
*Marigza is a freelance producer in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Fran Coode Walsh, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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