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La Grange Church Youth Group Donates 130 Gift Bags to St. Mark's Medical Center


November 2, 2021

La Grange, TX - The Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) of Sacred Heart Catholic Church presented 130 treat bags for the staff of St. Mark's Medical Center (SMMC) as part of a recent service project.

The sixth through eighth graders combined individual monetary donations with that of an anonymous parishioner's to purchase sweets and treats, assembled, and decorated the gift bags for the staff. Each bag included a handwritten note and a label with a verse describing the variety of its contents.

"On behalf of our team, thank you to the youth group and staff at Sacred Heart Catholic Church," said Mark Kimball, President and CEO of SMMC. "We live in a community of strong faith and generous hearts. The support that our hospital and team receive is appreciated more than you can imagine."

The service project idea came from church pastor Father Brian Phillips, who is acutely aware of the challenging environment that healthcare workers are faced with today, especially with the additional impact of the pandemic. "My mother recently retired after 40 years in nursing, and my sister currently is a hospital nurse," said Fr. Phillips. "I have seen firsthand the toll that this past year has had on healthcare workers, and I thought this project would be a way for our youth group to show their empathy and support for our local hospital staff."

Fr. Phillips also routinely visits SMMC patients who are parishioners, prays with and for them. Additionally, many of the church's parishioners work and volunteer at the hospital.

Karissa Kleiber, CYM Youth Minister and teacher at La Grange Middle School, guided the students in this project. "We have a great group of kids and I enjoy helping them find ways to share their Catholic faith with the community."

Sacred Heart Catholic Church is located at 539 E. Pearl Street in La Grange.

St. Mark's Medical Center, one of the top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the United States as ranked by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, is a 65-bed, 100,000 sq. ft., community hospital serving residents of Fayette County and surrounding communities. At St. Mark's Medical Center, patients benefit from the latest medical technology along with comprehensive healthcare from highly skilled physicians, nurses and professional staff. Services include cardiac rehabilitation, wound care, orthopedic care, inpatient and outpatient care, a 24-hour emergency department, outpatient/elective surgeries and procedures, as well as laboratory and imaging services.


Mark Kimball, president and CEO of SMMC; Father Brian Phillips, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church; Karissa Kleiber, CYM Youth Minister; CYM members and their adult leadership.



A colorful and thoughtful label was affixed to each of the 130 gift bags that described the contents; also inside each bag was a handwritten note of inspiration from the students.

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