SHELBYVILLE, IL – Next April, two colleagues from HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, Jean Hudson and Chelsea Wildman, are bound for a mission in Haiti. In a true Christian spirit, they will be stepping out of their comfort zones to extend their kindness to children in need. They are two of a 10-member mission team, and all are Shelbyville parishioners of the Shelby Christian Church which will be serving the Children of Promise Orphanage in Lagossette.
On a request from the orphanage for slightly used scrubs, the women assembled a cache of about 45 pairs of scrubs. The scrubs came from different places. Hudson spoke with Aaron Puchbauer, president and CEO of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital about the need. He directed her to the manager of laundry services at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield (SJS) and Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach.
The SJS manager contacted a supplier from the Phoenix Textiles who donated 15 pairs of brand-new scrubs. The Shelby County Senior Center Resale Shop in Shelbyville also donated scrubs they had received as donations.
Hospital Sisters Outreach Mission secures usable medical supplies and equipment from 73 hospitals and 18 clinics in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Missouri. They redirect those supplies to countries in need such as Haiti. When Hudson placed a call to Mission Outreach, the volunteer told her that she was in luck, and they were sorting scrubs. They pulled the lightly used scrubs aside for the mission trip. The scrubs will go into two 64” suitcases which will also be donated to the orphanage and repurposed as closets for the community.
Hudson grew up in a household with missionaries in her home her entire life. She often stuffed boxes or helped support other missionaries but always harbored a desire to do something herself.
“This mission speaks to me because I was adopted at birth. Orphanages have always held a connection to me. This is my opportunity to help children who have been denied the opportunity and privilege of having a home,” she said. “A lot of these kids have parents but the children have physical disabilities. The parents either don’t know what to do with them or don’t have the means to take care of them. We don’t know what we will be doing yet. We will do whatever the need is they feel we can fulfill.
“I believe this is something I will do more than once. As I retire, I hope to do more mission trips like this. I am a little scared and very excited at the same time. The orphanage sits in a walled compound which is American-owned which helps with my feeling of security. But this is a third-world country with a different language and has already been badly damaged by an earthquake.”
“I am a home-body,” Wildman, a mother of two girls aged seven-years-old and a 10-years-old, said. “I have never been outside of the United States. So going to Haiti is well outside of my normal scope but I am excited. I think this mission will help me teach my daughters the difference between what they have as opposed to these children. My girls have TV, computers, phones and iPads, while these kids have nothing. I think it will be a huge lesson to them.
“We have been raising money for months to do this. We have had several small fundraisers and we have banked over $15,000. For each of us to do this mission, it will cost $1,400 and that is without the preparation work of vaccines we must have before going. It is without some other things we must do for preparation. We will receive training on what is within the scope of what is allowed and what is not. We will also learn some basic language before going so that we can do some basic communication. Some of the rules are pretty strict but they make sense to me. On Sunday, we can attend an American, English-speaking service and then experience a service that is in Haitian. The services are Christian-based.
“Like Jean, I am excited and a little afraid. I am a little leery of leaving my girls behind because I have always been the one they come to and with whom they spend their evenings. My husband will be stepping in to fill their needs that week. It will all be a good life lesson for all of us.”
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visitwww.hospitalsisters.org.