Showing passion: Sorority donates wagons to Schneck pediatrics department


Going to the hospital can be a terrifying experience, especially for a child.

That’s why one local sorority wants to make the experience of being in a hospital a little lighter for Schneck Medical Center’s pediatric patients and their families.

The Delta Delta chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha recently donated three Radio Flyer red wagons to the Schneck pediatrics floor to transport young patients in a fun way.

Each wagon has a flat bottom but folds outs to two seats with seatbelts. They are even equipped with drink holders.

The sorority raised money for the donation through its annual Seymour Oktoberfest fundraiser many have become familiar with, said past President Dee Hess. It offers attendees to take a chance at winning $999.

Hess said the group was looking to make a donation somewhere in the community when the idea came up to call the pediatrics floor at Schneck to see if there was anything it needed.

“We try to give back to the community, and it’s great to help little kids,” she said. “If they’re sick and they’re here, they can ride in this wagon, and maybe it will pick them up a little bit and bring some joy to them.”

Alyssa Gentry, adult medical pediatrics nurse manager, said the wagons do a lot to ease the anxiety of young patients and their families because they bring a familiar activity to them while they spend time in the hospital.

“It gives them a sense of comfort,” she said. “Being in the hospital for a child is a really scary place, and so when they see that red wagon come into their room, it makes them think of home, calms them a little bit and helps alleviate that stress they get from being in the hospital.”

Hess said the wagons may even help the parents of the patients because they will see their child feel better.

“I think it will help parents feel better, too, to see their kids have some joy while they’re in here, even if it’s a few minutes,” she said.

Gentry said the pediatrics department currently uses two wagons to transport patients, but the wagons have worn down over time.

“We’ve had our two for quite some time, so they’re in much need of replacement,” she said. “We’ve got one wooden one and one plastic one, and they’re falling apart.”

Gentry said it was thoughtful of the sorority to keep the hospital’s pediatrics patients in mind when donating to a cause.

Because of the hospital’s health requirements, the wagons make the perfect donation because they can be kept for a number of years.

“A lot of times at Christmas, we have groups that want to donate toys, and if they’re not toys we can clean, we cannot accept them,” she said. “The wagons are something we can use for multiple patients and be able to keep them for a long period of time.”

The wagons come at the best possible time, too, Gentry said, because the unit will see a spike in patients due to the respiratory conditions the colder months bring.

“Right now, we’re going into busy season for pediatrics,” she said. “It ebbs and flows, but we’re definitely getting ready to hit a busier season, and so we expect to see more patients soon.”

Hess said the sorority also will make donations to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The reason the sorority wants to make donations and affect children is simple, Hess said.

“That’s just our passion,” she said.

No posts to display