Happy Birthday, Jared!

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ~ 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4

The Jared Comfort Dog team has been busy – despite struggling with the pandemic like all of you. We continued to provide friendship, concern, encouragement, smiles, and most of all comfort. While it was challenging to come up with new and safe ways to visit people, we figured out how to do just that. 

Jared has been a presence at church – including parking lot services, Christmas Eve and Easter at Zollner. He visited Holy Cross students during special events, including the send-off of the 8th grade students, pre-school graduation and private student visits who needed a little extra love and comfort. He was a weekly visitor at Concordia – thru virtual classes and in person. Jared was also at The Garden to hang out with older kids working on homework.

The holidays are always a great time to take Jared out. He especially liked the parade of trees at the Embassy, caroling and the drive thru light parade at a local nursing home.

Probably the most important event in the last year was our deployment to Indianapolis after the mass shooting. We were with several other LCC Comfort Dogs that ministered to the hurting community. We visited with first responders, the 911 call center, attended candlelight vigils, church services, the coroner’s office, and with many friends and family members of the victims.  We were all moved by the experience and were blessed to offer comfort.

We are slowly getting involved with the local veterans groups, including visiting the Veterans War Memorial and participating in the Memorial Day Parade as well as JROTC events at Concordia.

Jared visited many local nursing and retirement homes – including Story Pointe and Heritage Pointe. We have partnered with Heart to Heart Hospice, and visit their clients on a regular basis.

We have built a wonderful relationship with the YMCA Adaptive Program and Turnstone, which includes us in their various events. And, Jared has just started visiting Camp Red Cedar this summer. 

Jared loves kids. We take any opportunity to visit with children – including the Autism Awareness Parade and the Church of Many Nations after-school program. We visited Churubusco High School after a student suicide, and we even participated in a 5K walk to support Plymouth High School in Illinois.

During the last year, even with the restrictions from COVID – Jared had over 200 visits, and was exposed to over 9000 people!

Our team consists of 9 Handlers (including Concordia's Pam Rusher, PE teacher) and 10 ministry partners. We are blessed to have Dr. Kelly Dziak keeping Jared healthy, and to Beth and Roger Wilson for opening their home to Jared.

We can always use extra hands and hearts if you are interested in joining our team. Just contact the Holy Cross church office and we’ll be in touch with you! 

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

Karen Albertin from Team Jared