Every Thursday of September and October, for the past twelve years, St. Paul’s has participated in Hannah’s Gift. Hannah’s Gift is a ministry that provides meals for patients and families on the OICU floor at CHOC-Orange.
After a year of remission, relapsing, and undergoing a bone-marrow transplant, Hannah, our niece, lost her battle to cancer on December 12, 2001. She was only 2 ½ years old. During this one year period, Hannah and her family were home for only a month. They were so grateful when a homemade meal was provided, after hours of caring for their very sick child. This is why Dana Chade, our sister-in-law and a member of our sister parish of St. Mark’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Irvine, created this program. Rather than eating hospital or restaurant food, or simply not eating at all, Hannah’s Gift provides the parents and families, not only a homemade meal, but a chance to gather together every Thursday evening.
When this program started twelve years ago, we were serving 15-20 people. Our numbers now – serving some 35-50 people – just show how rapid this dreadful disease has grown, and how very much needed this program is.
As a volunteer, you would ask a friend, co-worker, Bible study group, or your family, to make a meal for 35-50 people. You would provide paper goods, fruit, dessert and water and deliver your meal to CHOC by 5:30pm on your respective Thursday. You will set up for dinner and you may choose to serve the food to them and chat or simply leave your meal for them to enjoy on their own. I highly encourage volunteers to stay. What you experience, when you do so, is something that will remain with you forever.
By God’s grace, this program has flourished and has expanded to include many Orthodox and other Orange County Churches, Police Departments and other types of organizations! There are even opportunities to make a meal any Thursday of the year, not only September and October.
If you would like to be a part of this special outreach ministry to hurting children and their families, please contact Anthea Chade at firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank each and every one of you that have volunteered in the past, and to those of you who will give your time, love, and support in the future. May Hannah’s memory be eternal!
With love in Christ,
Richard & Anthea Chade
To read more about Hannah’s Gift, please see this article that appeared in the Orange County Register: