Patients at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are receiving an extra dose of kindness this week, courtesy of hundreds of young Phoenix students who hand-crafted Get Well cards. The get well wishes to the patients are part of Dignity Health’s Great Kindness Challenge, taking place Jan. 25-29.
The Great Kindness Challenge, created by non-profit Kids for Peace, is a bullying prevention initiative dedicated to creating a culture of kindness in elementary, middle, and high schools nationwide. The event challenges participating students to complete at least 50 acts of kindness in one week.
Students and Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral School near downtown Phoenix took the challenge one step further, by creating 500 hand-written Get Well cards. The cards were designed by students from kindergarten to seventh grade. They included wishes like: “I will try to get better grades just for you. Feel better soon.” And, “I like you OK. Get better. I am a first grader.” Finally, Dear friend, I heard you are in the hospital and my whole 7th grade class hopes you get better.”
“The students at Saints Simon and Jude School love serving others and especially spreading joy. When asked to bring food for the local pantry, making cards for patients, being kind to a struggling classmate or working to restore justice they do so with great energy and enthusiasm,” said Linda Fischetti a teacher at the school. “They are examples of God’s mercy, peace and love alive in the world today.”
Patty White, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s said the cards, which were delivered by nurses to patients, were particularly touching and “outstandingly creative. Young children can teach us all a lot about kindness and the students at Saints Simon and Jude certainly have added to the joy of this Challenge Week.”
In addition to serving as a presenting sponsor, many of Dignity Health’s more than 65,000 executives, employees, and physicians across the nation are taking the Great Kindness Challenge alongside students. Inside Dignity Health’s Arizona hospitals, Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers, St. Joseph’s and St. Joseph’s Westgate, employees are enjoying a full week of surprise acts of kindness, such as candy grams, smiley balloons and special snacks, while being encouraged to pay it forward to other employees, patients and patients’ families.
The 2016 Great Kindness Challenge includes 100 schools in Arizona and more than 6,000 nationwide. This is fourth year Dignity Health’s has participated in the challenge.