A Web of Caring
In 1997, Sona Mehring was devastated to learn that a close friend had delivered a premature baby and that both the baby and the mother were in critical condition. Ready to help in any way possible, Mehring was given the task of updating family and friends about the situation. Mehring utilized her background in web design to develop a website to communicate information to a wide circle of family and friends without disturbing the mother’s need for rest or placing additional demands on hospital staff.
“I wanted to provide a space for my friend to update her support network and for her support network to provide love and encouragement,” says Mehring. “The Internet was the perfect medium for that.”
Sadly, after a nine-day struggle against tremendous odds, Baby Brighid died in surgery. But Mehring’s revolutionary communication tool, CaringBridge, was born out of this tragedy.
What is CaringBridge?
Today, CaringBridge is a charitable nonprofit providing free, private websites that connect family and friends to share information, love and support during a serious health event, care and recovery.
A CaringBridge website saves time and energy by centralizing communication during a serious health event. This eases the burden of updating family and friends and keeps the focus on caring for the patient.
CaringBridge can be used during all types of serious health events. Each website is unique – authors select their website design and add journal entries and photos to share their story while visitors leave messages of hope and encouragement in the guestbook.
Why Use CaringBridge?
- CaringBridge connects a patient’s entire faith community, creating a network of support and prayer for everyone involved. It reduces isolation, relieves stress and provides a sacred space that empowers love, compassion and healing.
- The websites make it easy to share prayer requests and surround the patient with prayer support from a broad faith community. Through the power of prayer, CaringBridge communities experience emotional and spiritual healing and improved quality of life.
- The websites are a personal and practical tool that complements and enriches pastoral care ministry. When someone in your faith community goes through a challenging, life changing event such as cancer, premature birth or an accident, you and your faith community can connect online to support them with love, prayer and encouragement.
Please recommend CaringBridge to those in need. It is a great way to strengthen your faith community. Spread the word about CaringBridge today with these materials that you can download and print http://www.caringbridge.org/faithmaterials.
Kathy Tomlinson is the Faith-Based Account Partnership Manager at CaringBridge.