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COVID care bags are bringing joy to those in isolation by improving mental health

Coronavirus in Kansas

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – As the pandemic continues on, many are concerned about how it may wear on mental health. Organizers in Garden City are making strides to help ease stress. 

It’s a community-wide effort. Turning Point Church of the Nazarene, Golden Plains State Bank, the Garnand Funeral Home, and others in the Garden City community have come together to give COVID care bags to those that may be struggling with the effects of the pandemic.

The bags contain items like word search puzzles, stress balls, snacks, and cards among several other stress-relieving items.

The purpose is focused on improving the mental health of anyone who may have tested positive or is in quarantine for COVID-19.

“It’s just to help them think differently, and kinda repurpose their minds and so they know somebody’s there for them, they’re not alone, and that we want to be there to help them,” said Nathan Haeck, Lead Pastor at Turning Point Church of the Nazarene. 

Paid for by private donations, local businesses, and other community sponsors, nearly 1000 bags have been made, 300 given to those in need.

“What’s driving us is just to be there for the people, and to be a big support for the community. No matter whether it’s in the little things or the big things,” Haeck said.

Organizers say the bags are a way to show encouragement, and let those in isolation know they’re not alone and not forgotten.

“They’re really excited to receive something from us. They think they’re coming here just for a test, but they’re actually getting a little gift and a goodie bag to take home with them,” said COVID Testing Coordinator for Genesis Family Health, Andrea Gallegos.

Organizers say they will continue to give the bags out as long as they are needed.

“We want to help people get to a better place, make it through these times. We’re all in this fight together. We’re all making it, you know, one day at a time, trying to figure out how do we get through the next week, and so this is just one way that we could do that,” said Haeck.

The care bags are being given out at several locations.

Bags can be picked up at the Turning Point Church of the Nazarene by calling 620-275-4278. There is also contactless free delivery at the church building. 

The bags are also available at the Finney County Health Department and the Genesis Clinic at Garden City Community College.

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