The Springfield Assembly family spends many hours reaching out to those in need in our local communities. From spending time serving food to the hungry to collecting gifts and clothes for those who are cold, our members seek to serve others in the name of Jesus.
One such charity is Project Ed Bear. Created in 1994, this volunteer-based mission helps local children suffering from cancer. “When my son, Ede Bittle, was 11, he suffered from non-cancerous bone tumors,” said founder, Susan Summerville. “After seeing children suffering from cancer during his hospital stay and knowing what it was like to face the fear of the possibility of cancer, he wanted to help the other children in the Children’s (Akron Children’s Hospital) Oncology Ward.”
It all began with teddy bears for the patients, but it has become so much more, including scholarships, camp, Christmas stockings, Valentine’s Day bags, and Easter baskets.
Church member and Akron Children’s Hospital palliative care nurse, Tina Fey, said she originally became involved in Ed Bear because she saw how her patients and their families benefited from the services the organization provides. “Project Ed Bear brings laughter, joy, hope, celebration and so much more to patients and their families when they often struggle to see beyond their circumstances,” she explained.
Currently Ed Bear organization is collecting Easter basket donations for children battling cancer at Akron Children’s Hospital and University Hospital’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Local volunteers will come together to create 35 large baskets for children in the hospital on Easter morning and 100 bags for the children visiting the oncology clinic.
“The church and community have a unique opportunity to be involved,” Tina said. “We can give of our time in a multitude of ways, we can give of our finances, and most importantly, we can give our prayers.”
Looking to help out with the Easter baskets or another Project Ed Bear volunteer or giving opportunity? Contact Springfield Assembly church attendee Denise Hudak at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the church for a cell phone number.
Here is what is needed for the Easter baskets:
- Handmade cards
- $25 Amazon gift cards
- Playdoh, Slinky, yoyos, small toys like Hatchimals, LOL dolls, Hot Wheels, Legos
- Small games such as Uno, Old Maid or Go Fish, Pokémon card sets**
- Small Etch A Sketches or drawing tablets, journals, colored pencils
- Arts and crafts, including Crayola Mess Free coloring sets
- Small puzzles
- Bunny ears
- Easter stuffed animals and toys
- Candy such as chocolate bunnies, marshmallow eggs or bunnies, Cadbury Eggs, individual bags of jelly beans, or other individually wrapped candy. *
*While homemade candy is wonderful, due to allergies and other sanitary issues, all candy must be in original packing and not contain nuts.
**We are unable to give latex items such as balloons due to allergies. Rainbow Babies & Childrens also does not allow bubbles.