Blankets Spread God’s Love: A Word from LAC+USC Chaplain, Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Reflections Blog | 0 comments

This Winter COVID surge has made for some very challenging days at the LAC+USC Medical Center. So many of the staff are out sick, families are restricted from visiting and patients are in need of spiritual and emotional support.

One bright spot has been the outpouring of beautiful handmade blankets from all over Southern California. Full of color and blessed with prayer, we gave these blankets to patients a few days before Christmas. Their faces fill with light when they realize that the beautiful blanket is a gift, handmade for them, by a complete stranger who also took the time to pray for their healing and wellbeing. In a season when so many are struggling to find their way, the blankets are a tangible reminder of God’s love and care for them.

Some folks made a blanket as a part of their ongoing creative practice and sent their creations one at a time throughout the year. Others, like the group of knitters & crocheters at Pacific Palisades church who came together to create their Mustard Seed Ministry, support each other with yarn supply & encouragement. They bring all of their creations for the congregation to bless before they are given to the hospital. Other churches already have robust crafting ministries and they expanded to include LAC+USC as a recipient.

Photos feature blankets from Mustard Seed Ministry at Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church, Phil Ajian dropping off blankets from First Presbyterian Church of Newhall, and Areta Crowell and Merilie Robertson bringing blankets from Pasadena Presbyterian Church and Monte Vista Groves. Other donations of beautiful handmade blankets came from Culver City Presbyterian Church, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Kirk of the Valley, San Marino Community Church, St. Mark’s and Wilshire Presbyterian Churches plus many, many individual contributors!!! We are so grateful to each and every one of you!

For those of you eager to try your hand at this…
● Our patients love bright colors!
● Blankets need to be at least 36’x36’
● Blankets need to be handmade – knit, crocheted, quilted or sewn
● Offer prayers for the patient’s healing and wellbeing as you create your blanket

We accept donations of handmade blankets year-round. To find out how you can be involved, please contact Chaplain Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder.

Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder, Board Certified Chaplain with Palliative Care & Hospice Advanced Certification, serves as Presbyterian staff chaplain at LAC+USC Medical Center. Prior to chaplaincy, Elizabeth spent over twenty years in parish ministry. Elizabeth creates a home in the city with her favorite teachers – husband Tim and children Eva and Naomi and pups Luna and Arlo.