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Volunteers Create Courage Capes for Young Emergency Room Patients

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa. — No one ever wants to spend time in the hospital, especially children. But around two dozen kids are taken to the emergency room a...

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- No one ever wants to spend time in the hospital, especially children. But around two dozen kids are taken to the emergency room at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville every day.

Volunteers from Giant Food stores have found a way to hopefully make those emergency room trips less painful. Volunteers made what are called "Courage Capes." Now, when children come to the emergency room at Janet Weis Children's Hospital, they can feel like a superhero.

The lobby at Janet Weis Children's Hospital near Danville was transformed into an art studio. More than two dozen employees from Giant Food stores made Courage Capes for some of the hospital's youngest patients.

"A Courage Cape is just a recycled t-shirt that we give to the scared children that come to the emergency room, just to give them a little strength and courage as they go through a scary procedure," explained Giant District Operations Coordinator Danielle Burns.

Giant employees formed an assembly line of sorts creating 400 Courage Capes.

"They're actually cutting the t-shirts, then we have people velcroing. A lot of people are painting. We're doing different words, brave, courage, strength," said Giant District Operations Coordinator Amanda Raybuck.

Between 20 and 30 kids are admitted each day to Geisinger Janet Weis. So, the capes will be put to good use.

"It's interesting what putting a cape on a young child, how much it improves their attitude and makes a difference," said Dr. Michael Ryan, Geisinger senior vice president of development.

When children are taken to the pediatric emergency room, they can choose a cape and wear it around their neck to help give them courage during their stay.

"It's a scary time when you come to the hospital and when you come to the emergency room. Hopefully, this cape will give them some courage and put them at ease," Dr. Ryan said.

"Hopefully, it can help them ease their mind a little bit, take their mind off of whatever procedure is happening. They get to strap on a superhero cape and have fun for a little bit," Raybuck said.

The Courage Capes will be handed out to children in the Geisinger Janet Weis emergency department immediately.