The Ladies of Charity at St. Gregory the Great, Williamsville NY annually sew more than 500 “walker bags,” distributed to nursing homes and hospitals throughout Western New York. This ministry was started more than 20 years ago by past LOC member Gerri Mergehnagen. For the past 15 years, it has been chaired by Martha Falsone. Martha secures fabric donations from local furniture and fabric stores and then purchases strapping material for the bags.
Katie Ola, St. Greg’s LOC secretary, and her dog, Bandit, are members of Therapy Dogs International. They distribute the bags as part of their work. Katie describes how their work brings comfort to the elderly and sick. Studies have shown that a person holding or petting an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension, and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression.