EFFINGHAM — HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital patients are the fortunate beneficiaries of gifts from a generous teenager who decided that it was better to give than to receive on her birthday.
When Sacred Heart parishioner Abigail Burgess was approaching her 14th birthday, her mother Kim, asked Abigail what she would like for a gift. Abigail replied that she didn't need any presents and instead wanted to make something to donate. So, for her 14th birthday celebration, she gathered with family and friends to make 10 fleece blankets.
The party guests brought along materials to make the blankets, rather than bringing gifts. They made blankets of various themes, including elephants, St. Louis Cardinals, camo, monsters, anchors, polka dots, paisley and owls.
When determining where to donate the blankets, Abigail remembered her visits to the hospital in earlier years for treatment of her asthma. She wanted to provide a blanket for warmth to both pediatric and adult patients when they felt cold, like she sometimes felt during her hospital stays.
St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital recently received the blankets created at Abigail's birthday celebration, which will be given to patients in the Same Day Surgery and Procedure Suites departments.
St. Anthony's Director of Philanthropy Michael Wall commented on the gifts. "Abigail's act of kindness in thinking of others and her generosity of donating the fleece blankets to the hospital follows in the footsteps of St. Francis and supports the healing ministry at HSHS St. Anthony's."