LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Serve the Hurting Community of Highland Park, Illinois, with Love and Compassion
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion continued to serve the Highland Park community all week after the Independence Day celebrations turned to tragedy on Monday, July 4, when a gunman killed seven people and injured dozens of others at a July Fourth parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
Lutheran Church Charities was invited by Rev. Jim Buckman, Senior Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Lake Forest, Illinois, to bring the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses, to the shocked and hurting community that has been greatly impacted by this tragic event.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were present at several locations in and around Highland Park to offer comfort and support. On Tuesday, July 5, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers attended an Interfaith Prayer Vigil at Highland Park Presbyterian Church.
LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses placed hearts and markers for those whose lives were taken too soon in this horrific tragedy. People stopped by the blue, wooden hearts to grieve and to sign them with heartfelt messages. They serve an important purpose for those grieving - comfort and reassurance.
"I realized last night, while watching the news, that your blue hearts with the fish have become a regular visual in the news coverage. It gives me comfort to see them because I know you are where you're needed, but I'm beyond sad that you're needed so often. Thank you for what you do." Ann, Facebook comment
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams organized several Meet and Greet events throughout the week at the Highland Park Veteran's Memorial.
"It's just bringing that comfort to a hurting community," said LCC staff member Dona Martin. "When they're petting a dog, it just naturally lowers their blood pressure. It just gives them that moment to be natural for a little while," Martin said.
The LCC K-9 Ministry teams brought with them Mini Stuffed LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. Many children and adults smiled upon receiving a stuffie and cuddled it tightly. A stuffie is one way LCC can offer lasting comfort. Thes stuffies are available for purchase on our website, and every time you purchase a stuffie, we give one to someone who is suffering and in need.
Buy one give one: https://luthcc.org/BuyOneGiveOne
If you would like to donate to the mini stuffed dogs but not have one shipped to you, here is a different link to donate.
Donate stuffies: https://luthcc.org/DonateStuffies
Throughout the week, the teams have made several visits to the Family Assistance Center at Highland Park High School and Highland Park Montessori Preschool.
They met many people who were at the Fourth of July parade, heard the gunshots, or knew one of the victims. They met individuals who experienced survivor's guilt and wish they had done more. They met nurses who have been tending to the wounded and police officers who have been working nonstop.
These LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs have been serving Highland Park, Illinois, and will continue to be present with the community and walk with them in their grief.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Asher (Faith Lutheran - Lake Forest, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Bekah & Kye (Immanuel - Belvidere, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Benjamin (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Caleb (Immanuel - Valparaiso, Indiana)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Charity (Brookfield Lutheran - Brookfield, Wisconsin)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Emma (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Eunice (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Hannah (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Isaiah & Jael (Trinity - Hobart, Indiana)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jacob (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Julia (King of Glory - Elgin, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Levi (Immanuel - East Dundee, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Malachi (St. Matthew - Hawthorn Woods, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Mary (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Myra (St. Andrews - Park Ridge, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ruthie (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Sage (Concordia University Wisconsin - Mequon, Wisconsin)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Samson (Zion – Marengo, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois)
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry never charge those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need. We know that comfort is needed to help this shocked and devastated community and the first responders who serve them