Alongside the Behavioral Sciences Building, on the northeast side of Lubbock Christian University's campus, sits the building site for the South Plains Children's Memorial Park. Donations from Covenant Health, Hospice of Lubbock, and private donors have made it possible for this memorial garden to be erected, allowing for families of all ages, denominations, and races from across the area to have a place to come together in memory of their children.
The professionals at Tom's Tree Place are in the process of masterfully constructing the Children's Memorial Park. Space will be created in the center of the garden park to include stones engraved to honor the memory of children. Great pine trees border the park for added privacy and shade. Visitors will find benches to rest on, and beautifully constructed gates will invite visitors beyond the privacy walls. Families will have the opportunity to have a stone, engraved with their child's name, placed in the memorial. The vision for this space is to include a water feature, and a when funding allows, a brick walkway, swings to sit in, and a bronze statue of a child. It will truly be a place of life and hope in memory of Our Children.
Dr. Michael Hardin, Chair of Behavioral Sciences and an Associate Professor at LCU, said Charley Wasson, CEO of Hospice of Lubbock, was instrumental in the project.
"The idea for this project started in May and Charley Wasson at Hospice of Lubbock took it on as his personal project," Hardin said. "Charley is the one who raised the support for it. He is the one who was really responsible for raising the funds."
Wasson said that without the help of Lubbock Christian University this would not have been possible. Furthermore, Hardin said the university aims to incorporate more community activities to bring people of the South Plains area together.
"We want to be able to invite the people of our community to campus," Hardin said. "So we can engage the community. No matter what denomination, cultural background they are from - it's a way to serve the community."
Wasson maintains the same view of bringing the community together as Hardin.
"Hospice of Lubbock's Board of Directors saw a great opportunity to work with LCU to provide a healing space for those who have lost a child," Wasson said. "This memorial gives people a quiet, reflective place to celebrate the life of their child, reflect on life and their loss and to heal."
Wasson said he took this on as his personal project because Hospice Care of Lubbock is the only hospice care facility for sick children in Lubbock.
"We found a large group of parents, caregivers and families who needed the opportunity to share and to heal," He said. "This memorial gives them a place to begin and continue their healing journey."
Wasson then said that since it is the 25th anniversary of Hospice of Lubbock they, as a company, wanted to do something to not only celebrate the achievement but also to give back to the people of the South Plains.
"Lastly, Hospice of Lubbock is celebrating its 25th anniversary of service to the Lubbock and South Plains community," Wasson said. "Part of our mission is to give back and serve our community - this memorial, working with partners as great as LCU - is reflective of that mission dedication."
"This truly is a way to serve our community," said Hardin, on behalf of LCU.
Wasson ended with how Hospice of Lubbock felt about the project, stating and emphasizing that Covenant also helped with monetary sponsorship; and on behalf of Hospice of Lubbock, they were thankful for the instrumental partnerships.
"It is our honor to give back to such a meaningful project."