Mother’s Day gifts can range from the sentimental — a three year old’s handprint on a homemade card — to the classic bouquet of fresh flowers. Gifts picked in love and cherished by the heart are the most common ways mothers are honored each year.

At Woodlawn Chapel, Mother’s Day gifts have come to represent something more. For more than 20 years, the church has been gathering simple items — notebooks, pens, nail clippers, emery boards, hand lotion and more — and placing them in special tote bags which are given to mother’s of pediatric hospital patients in the St. Louis area. This year, 49 bags containing things which might make a mom of a hospitalized child smile a bit were collected for the St. Louis area Ronald McDonald Houses. The bags were dedicated on Sunday, May 5 and will be delivered by church members in time for the families to receive them on Mother’s Day.

The gifts are a way of spreading friendship and love. Prior to changes in privacy laws, church members would visit children’s hospitals to hand deliver the bags to each family. The child’s mother would step out of the room, and a Woodlawn member would give the bag to a child so they could pass it along to their parent. In some cases, these simple gifts of hope were the only gifts a few mothers would ever receive from their terminally ill infants or children.

It’s just one way that a small church can have a large heart, and a way that Woodlawn Chapel fulfills its vision to be a loving, learning, and living community of Christ. For more information, contact the church office or visit our mission and outreach page.