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Holiday Giving Labyrinth Benefits Behavioral Health Patients, Homeless

giving labyrinth
The Holiday Giving Labyrinth at the Nassif Community Cancer Center, made up of just some of the over 700 items donated.

During the holiday season, the Nassif Community Cancer Center collected items for a “Holiday Giving Labyrinth.” A labyrinth looks like a maze, but is different. There are no tricks and no dead ends. It has a single path that winds its way to the center. The path is in full view, allowing the person to be quiet and focus internally.

The response was incredible, with over 700 items donated. Our team members, as well as community partners, donated a wide variety of items, including essential hygiene products, food, coats and camping gear. These items were placed in the shape of a labyrinth, which patients and team members could walk. Recently, the items were split evenly and donated to St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Services and Willis Dady Homeless Services.

“Labyrinth walking is a way to connect with our most compassionate selves, and strengthen the community,” shared Marion Patterson, healing energy worker at the Nassif Community Cancer Center, who came up with the idea for the Holiday Giving Labyrinth. “When we walk together and share our collective resources, we actively support each other quietly and tangibly. I am heartened at how many people told me they paused on different days and walked the indoor labyrinth.”

handmade bag
The handmade bags that were used to package donated items.

The team also took time to put together some handmade bags filled with the donated items. Kids bags were filled with card games, crayons, coloring books, puzzle books and more. Adult bags consisted of hand sanitizer, chap stick, lotion, pens and notebooks.

“We’ve been wanting to do a labyrinth for a couple years, but weren’t able to with COVID restrictions,” shared Matt Schmitz, Integrative Wellness program manager at the Nassif Community Cancer Center. “We were glad we could combine the idea with an opportunity to give back. The amount of giving was tremendous.”

A special thank you to Premier Dental in Cedar Rapids, who donated 140 tubes of toothpaste, as well as Lisa Hanigan, Tom Hess and Lynda Black Smith who donated their time to help Patterson create the labyrinth.

To learn more about Integrative Wellness services offered at the Nassif Community Cancer Center, call (319) 558-4876 or visit

Podcast Episode: Integrative Wellness

Matt Schmitz, CSCS, CES, AFT, joins Dr. Arnold do discuss various forms of integrative wellness and how they can complement traditional treatment.



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