Diocese of Greensburg students donated cards and gifts to patients spending the holiday in the hospital.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

GREENSBURG (KDKA) – To celebrate the spirit of Christmas, students all throughout the Diocese of Greensburg donated nearly 1,000 cards and gifts to patients at hospitals in the area.

Many of the 1,000 cards and gifts were handmade and the diocese donated rosaries, prayer shawls, blankets, prayer cards, and scapulars that had been blessed by Bishop-elect Larry Kulick.

The gifts were donated to patients at Excela Westmoreland Hospital, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Armstrong Center for Medicine and Health, and Uniontown Hospital.

Aside from the Christmas season, the gifts were donated because many patients may not be allowed to have visitors due to the pandemic.

“This pandemic provides too many reasons to feel isolated and apart,” said J. Kevin Frye, head of school at Christ the Divine Teacher School in Latrobe. “How wonderful of our students to take such advantage of the opportunity to give; to reach beyond the school walls into our community and help provide to those in need. I am so impressed with their caring and generosity, and our school community is beyond grateful for their efforts.”

The project was thanks to two outreach efforts, one from Diocesan Mission Director Father Anthony Carbone asking parishes for donations and the other was the Christmas Care Card Project which involves 800 Catholic school students.

“The patients who are hospitalized, particularly during this time of COVID, find themselves removed from what is personally comforting and familiar,” said Kathy Radocaj, clinical director of the intensive care unit at Excela Westmoreland Hospital, where some blankets were donated. “Receiving a blanket from our community is a simple gesture, but it really blankets the recipient with love and compassion.”

When the diocese put the call out for donations, they received multiple donations, including several from a number of students within the diocese.