Resourcing Leaders & Transforming Lives

Chaplain’s Corner – Acts of Kindness

Blessing Formula: 4 large skeins of yarn or 3 yards of fabric + 40 hours of hand work + 40 hours of prayer = 1 hand crafted blanket x 631 = Every patient at LAC+USC Medical Center BLESSED on December 19, 2017!

All through the year, people in churches across Southern California knit, stitch and quilt blankets for the patients at LAC+USC. Many of the blankets are created as a prayer for healing and blessing. The chaplains give these beautiful hand-made blankets to patients in need throughout the year. However, once a year, in the week before Christmas, a team of volunteers come to the hospital and give a blanket to every patient who is in the hospital over the holidays. December 19, 2017 over 30 of us teamed up to go to each of the 600+ patients to offer them the gift of a prayerfully made blanket.

One of the volunteers described a patient who kept her eyes lowered and barely greeted him when he walked in the room, but once he explained that someone had made a blanket just for her, her face lit up with gratitude and a smile. I have continued to visit patients after the holidays, and in the middle of their drab space, I find the colorful hand made blankets carefully laid across their bed.

This outpouring of compassion was made possible by the many skilled hands who knit, crocheted and quilted their prayers into blankets and the dedicated volunteers who came to help distribute the blankets. Thanks to everyone who gave of their time, talents and treasure to bear witness to God’s love for those who are suffering.

– Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder serves as Presbyterian staff chaplain at LAC+USC Medical Center. To find out more about this ministry and how you can be involved, please contact her at