ELKINS, WV – Thanks to an innovative collaboration between the GFWC Woman’s Club of Elkins and Davis Medical Center, young patients in the emergency department can ease anxiety with a “Jared Box.”
The Jared Box Project began in 2000 following the death of five-year old Jared McMullen from State College, PA. Jared, who spent a lot of time in hospitals during his treatment for a brain stem tumor, brought a backpack of games, toys, and activities to his appointments. Upon his passing, Jared’s classmates honored him by initiating The Jared Box Project. They collected donated activity boxes which were distributed to children visiting the Geisinger Medical Center.
“The emergency department can be a scary place for our young patients,” said Kristi Moehrle, MHA, BSN, RN, Director of Emergency Services for Davis Medical Center. “The Jared Boxes are a wonderful and fun diversion for our little patients.”
Today, hospitals in all fifty states participate in the program with over one million boxes being distributed to hundreds of healthcare facilities.
Moehrle said supplies for the boxes are needed on a continued basis.
“We hope individuals and other community groups will donate items to keep the supply of Jared Boxes coming. They are really well received by the patients and their parents,” she said.
A Jared Box is a plastic shoe-sized storage box filled with small gifts, toys, games, crayons, coloring books, and fun activities.
Anyone interested in the Jared Box Project can contact the DHS Foundation at 630-3043, or visit the GFWC Woman’s Club of Elkins page on Facebook. You can also learn more at thejaredbox.com.
The GFWC Woman’s Club of Elkins became a federated club in 1913. Over the past 100 years, the organization has participated in a variety of local, state, and national projects. The first library in Elkins was started by the club and was originally located in the lobby of the YMCA.
The club supports a number of local initiatives including donating clothing and toys to WVU Children’s Hospital, awarding scholarships to Randolph County high school seniors, volunteering for Red Cross blood drives, contributing to the Randolph County Animal Shelter, and much more. Visit the Facebook page to learn more about their community activities.