Three women display colorful fabric Lily Bags.

Lily Bags Help ER Patients

Many women’s groups sew quilts or make recycled cards for others. Some women in the Belgrade area put together kits for the local hospital – but they’re not what you think.

Janice Holtberg (middle) presented 19 Lily Bags on behalf of her women’s group to Glacial Ridge Hospital’s Emergency Department Manager Quinn Jacobs, RN (left) and Beth Connell, RN (right).

Initially, these kits were going to be for women of all ages who have had medical care following rape or domestic assault. Often a victim’s clothing is taken for evidence or is not in the condition to be worn again. A women’s group from Grace Lutheran Church in Belgrade put together “Lily Bags” including sports bras, underpants, socks, a t-shirt, and sweatpants. The bags were all handmade by a friend of the group.

However, the women’s group realized that others in the hospital’s emergency room could benefit from these kits as well. Men and teenage boys are victims of assault and may not have clean clothes to wear home. In medical emergencies, sometimes clothing is cut off in order to provide emergency care after an accident. Because of the various needs, the bags are labeled with the size of unisex clothing in them – so each person who needs clothing would have something in their size to wear home.

The group got the idea for the project after hearing about it through Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) correspondence. They thought – how simple would this be to do – and how many people could it help at our local hospital – so they set out to begin their own Lily Bag project. The group plans on it being an ongoing project. As the Lily Bags are given out and Glacial Ridge Hospital needs more, they’ll make more kits in the particular sizes needed at the hospital.