Feeding God's Children: Georgia's House
In the most critical times of our lives, we often forget the comforts of home. Chad and Cheyna Kary experienced a tragedy when their daughter, Georgia, was born 16 weeks early. After delivery, she was taken to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincent Hospital (part of the Hospital Sisters Health System) in Green Bay, Wisconsin, located 45 minutes from their home in Shawano. Making early morning drives to be with her as she underwent critical care started to take a toll on the Kary family, and community members teamed up to find them a home near the hospital. Tragically, one month later, Georgia Faith Kary contracted pneumonia and passed away. The Karys decided to turn their grief into joy for others. After raising enough money to purchase the home they were staying in, the Karys now offer it to families free of charge so they can stay together when their child is at St. Vincent Hospital. Georgia’s House was founded in 2019 and is named in honor of Georgia Kary. The home is a light in the darkness.
After hearing about Georgia’s House, Sacred Heart 1369 in Shawano, Wisconsin, decided to help. One of the court’s members, Paula Kundinger, a second grade teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School, thought there was something her students could do during Catholic Schools Week.
“Normally we do a service project during Catholic Schools Week to emphasize our Catholic values, but this year we wanted to do something so the students could learn giving doesn’t have to cost anything,” said Paula.
During a meeting with Sacred Heart 1369 and her teaching staff, Paula decided they could ask students to bring in a gently used toy or book to donate to Georgia’s House. “I thought it was a great idea because many people think it’s all about buying something,” she said. High Court Trustee Beth McFarlane, who is also Chief Ranger of Sacred Heart 1369, set a goal of collecting 100 items for families staying at Georgia’s House.
By the time the collection ended, students had donated 109 used toys and books. Sacred Heart Catholic School surpassed its goal! Students gathered in the gym to enjoy a movie in their pajamas to celebrate their hard work. Sacred Heart 1369 sponsored star-shaped cookies for each of the children as a treat. After the movie ended, Chad Kary, Georgia’s father and Sacred Heart Catholic School graduate, took the stage and thanked the students for their donations. “Helping others is the best work you can do,” he told them. “You’re helping people when they’re at their lowest and most difficult point. Service brings joy to others in an instant.”
The children applauded Chad for his hard work and dedication to helping the community. As he packed up to leave, a few older students offered to help load the donations in his truck.
“Actually, would it be alright if I came back for these?” said Chad. “We’ve got a family in there right now that will appreciate all of this, but we’re trying to respect their privacy. I can sneak these donations in when they’re gone later.” Chad’s goal was to not interrupt the “home” feeling the family had created in Georgia’s House.
Chad then said to some of the teachers, “These kids are so eager and excited to help, it’s amazing. I’m so excited the school and Catholic Order of Foresters is teaching them to be involved in giving back. It is setting them up to be compassionate adults.”
Hope seemed to fill the teachers’ hearts as Chad share those words. Raising and inspiring compassionate, faithful adults may be an unintended result of a Feeding God’s Children event, but it’s certainly a welcome one. Communities partnering to care for brothers and sisters in need, as we are called to do in Matthew 25, is the catalyst behind Feeding God’s Children. Sacred Heart 1369 and the Karys created a more caring world for the families of Georgia’s House, and that’s an act beyond measure. After all, there’s no place like home.
Article by Kaitlynrose Bicek.