What is the difference between compassion and empathy? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines compassion as a sympathetic consciousness of another’s distress together with a desire to alleviate it. It goes beyond just having empathy for someone else’s experience but taking it a step further to then ask, how can we help?
This definition is not only in the name of but also embodied in the spirit of giving through the Compassion Cart project. What exactly is the Compassion Cart?
The project began in 2016 when Chaplain Casey Bien-Aime identified a specific need at Lankenau Hospital and Temple Lutheran Church answered the call. Members of the TLC church family
painted a dresser and added wheels to make a gift-giving cart for the Chaplaincy Department at Lankenau Hospital to use to comfort patients and family members. The project was so successful that a second cart was added in 2018. Chaplain Casey Bien-Aime delights in the project’s success: “The compassion carts have been a huge blessing to Lankenau. The items in the carts are used all over the hospital. Having the carts in central locations near the Emergency Department and by the Heart Pavilion gives easy access for chaplains and hospital staff to get needed items in a timely manner.”
With its high level of use comes a need to restock supplies. This year, Temple Lutheran Church sought to celebrate Christmas in July by filling the drawers of the Compassion Carts. Blankets, magazines, coloring books for kids and parents, devotional texts, lotion, headscarves, activity books, games, comfy socks, prayer mats, head coverings, memory-making supplies, and so many more gifts poured into TLC filling Pastor Tim’s SUV.
Be sure to read our next post to see how the donated items are making a difference in our community!