Lucknow Community Christian Reformed Church, Ontario, hosted an organ donor registry blitz recently as a way of supporting Coffee Break Bible study member Ruth Pritchard and remembering her great-granddaughter Alyssa.
Born with half a heart, Alyssa underwent seven open-heart surgeries before dying at age 7 earlier this year. Although a heart eventually became available, she did not survive the transplant.
Kelsey Burgsma (left) assists Gerry teRaa.
The Coffee Break group of Lucknow Community CRC had prayed often for Alyssa over the years. “When she died, we felt at a loss,” said Rev. Rita Klein-Geltink, the church’s pastor. “The idea for the blitz came from our Coffee Break group—it was one small thing we could do to offer support and encouragement to Ruth and her family.”
Church member Mandy VanHardeveld coordinated the event, putting information in the bulletin and speaking during the worship service immediately before the blitz. She noted the wide gap between organ donor registrations and the number of people in need of organ transplants. “Even if you have signed a donor card, it is still important to register as a donor,” she noted. “Anyone can be a donor, regardless of your health status.”
Council members completed their registration forms before the church service, and immediately after the service other congregants lined up to register. The church was pleased not only to surpass the goal of 50 new registrations (by two), but to discover that many members had already registered.
Klein-Geltink hopes that “the blitz . . . will continue beyond our church. It’s one small but practical way in which we can demonstrate God’s love for a hurting world.”
About the Author
Anita Brinkman is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Chatham, Ontario.