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At the beginning of summer, 9-year-old Nathan Kneidel accepted this challenge from his teachers at RiverTree Christian Church: find a way to serve others through your God-given gifts.
When Nathan talked with his mother Amy about what he’s good at and what he likes to do, they thought of the jokes Nathan shares with his dad Craig, who recently underwent surgery at Mercy for a treatable form of thyroid cancer.
Nathan says, “I like to ‘do’ funny, and I like to draw.”
He also remembered what it felt like to be hospitalized after spending two nights at Mercy for pneumonia in 2013. He decided he could serve others at Mercy through a “Weekly Funny,” a collection of jokes from various books combined with his own original drawings. Since mid-June, the “funnies” have been a mainstay on Mercy Volunteer Services’ comfort cart, which hospital volunteers use to distribute items intended to make patients, their family members and visitors more comfortable.
Along with his older brother Luke, Nathan attends Tuslaw Local Schools and will be a fourth-grade student in the fall. When school starts, he plans to continue submitting the jokes and artwork to Mercy on a monthly basis.
When asked how he feels about his summer challenge, Nathan says, “It feels good. It’s fun and it makes people happy. I like making people smile.”
About The Author
Cindy Hickey, Administrative Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Mercy Medical Center, began working at Mercy Medical Center in 1982 after completing her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University. She serves on the advisory board of About magazine and is a graduate of the 21st Class of Leadership Stark County.