Jennifer Hayden brings her children and neighbors together to help local cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
doTERRA Wellness Advocate Jennifer Hayden understands the power of bringing a community together for a common cause and seeing lives change in the process. Jennifer is a member of the Blessed Mother Catholic church in Owensboro, KY. When her priest encouraged her to get involved with the church’s Arise Faith sharing groups, she decided to give it a try. When she joined the group, members were brainstorming ways to better teach their children about service.
This brainstorming lead to a six week project where the families gathered together to perform little acts of kindness every Friday night. The group assembled chemotherapy care packages for cancer patients, gathered books to donate to school libraries, and delivered gift baskets to nursing homes. At the end of the six weeks, Jennifer’s children expressed an interest in continuing the project. This is when Jennifer decided to join the church’s “Social Justice Committee” to help turn these smaller acts of kindness into regular projects for the church and community.
Upon joining the Social Justice Committee, Jennifer and other members started a church-wide chemotherapy care package drive. Church members donated items for the care packages and assembled them before they were delivered to cancer patients. Jennifer says, “It was so lovely to see cancer survivors who may not normally be active in outreach programs come and help, because this was a project that touched their hearts.” At their last chemotherapy care package drive, the church created over 55 care packages for cancer patients at their local chemotherapy center.
Jennifer says that her main motivation for volunteering is her three children. She says, “I want them to do good work for others. Most everything I have volunteered with, they can help me in some way.” The efforts of Jennifer and others on the Social Justice Committee have helped bring comfort to dozens of cancer patients who are undergoing rigorous cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
Jennifer has helped with several other charitable projects for the Blessed Mother Catholic Church and constantly looks for ways to give back in the community. She says, “The dishes will wait. The laundry will eventually get done. But the pressure to help the world and make a difference at church and in the community around me feels more pressing at times. So, I must pick and choose. I just try to choose from a place in my heart that allows others to benefit.”