Davenport students spread hope at Gilda’s Club

Students from All Saints Catholic School in Davenport bring boxes of “chemo bags” to Gilda’s Club Quad Cities Feb. 27.

For The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Students from All Saints Catholic School dedicated several months to creating “chemo care bags” to support an initiative of Gilda’s Club Quad Cities. From hand-painting canvas bags to collecting care items and creating Valentines, the students poured their hearts into this service project, Gilda’s Club said.

Gilda’s Club provides a variety of no-cost services and programs for individuals affected by cancer in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas. One initiative that has an ever-growing need is the chemo care bag program, according to a news release. Donors fill the care bags with items to bring a smile and help individuals feel more prepared and comfortable when undergoing cancer treatment for the first time. Gilda’s Club distributes more than 100 bags monthly at cancer centers in the area.

Judith Costello, a paraeducator at All Saints, initiated the effort at the school. She had shared with All Saints Principal Mindy Altman her journey with cancer and her intention to wear scarves to school. Touched by Costello’s resilience, the school recognized an opportunity to educate students about cancer’s impact and the importance of compassion.

Nora Bosslet, children, teen and family coordinator at Gilda’s Club, provided a presentation to students last December, explaining the importance of the chemo care bags. “The students at All Saints were really engaged with the Cancer 101 presentation I did. They had a lot of good questions! We loved the chemo care bags they designed.”


Twenty students from All Saints delivered 120 chemo care bags last month and toured Gilda’s Club in Davenport and the infusion center of Genesis West, which is also in Davenport.

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