Mitzvot From the Heart: Rebecca Sachs

From left, Rebecca Sachs worked with Rabbi Larry Glestein, BJC oncology chaplain, and Sara Colby, art specialist at Siteman Cancer Center.

Rebecca Sachs, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Rebecca said her mitzvah project was amazing. Daughter of Susie and Jonathan Sachs of Ladue, she created and delivered numerous pieces of art to the Leukemia and Lymphoma unit at the Siteman Cancer Center.  

Because her grandfather, Ken Steinback, and other family members have been affected by cancer, Rebecca wanted to reach out to other patients with the hope of brightening their day.  Rebecca visited the BJC art therapy room about eight times and worked closely with Sara Colby, the Siteman art specialist. They discussed the type of items the patients would like and Rebecca ran with the ideas. The art room, sponsored by Siteman and the BJC Foundation, provided all the supplies Rebecca needed. Colby said Rebecca knew right away that she wanted to sew special mementos to brighten the patients’ sterile environment and soften their long and challenging hospital stay. “We started out making felt flowers but imaginative Rebecca made such lovely [items] as heart pillows, inspirational banners and her piece de resistance, a felt hamburger,” said Colby. Rebecca’s dry humor and the playful banter between mother and daughter brightened our days,” she added.    

When the time came to distribute the gifts, Rebecca was able to visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma unit with Rabbi Larry Glestein, a chaplain in the oncology unit. Colby said Rabbi Glestein knew the significance of the project and he introduced Rebecca to those patients he felt would benefit from such a delightful moment. The patients were surprised and grateful. 

“One woman, in particular, was clearly moved,” said Glestein. “She told Rebecca that her illness was a long, difficult and often lonely ordeal but to receive such a heartfelt gift gave her great hope for the future. A wonderful tribute to be sure.” 

A student at Ladue Middle School, Rebecca said, “It felt good that giving someone a little gift can make them feel better.”