Shands AGH Makes Yuletide Delivery to Local Elementary School
Few can picture the yuletide season without one: a Christmas Tree. There are however many in our community who go without. But this year employees at Shands AGH are making sure that some special students get a special tree.
Not just special trees, trees with a theme. And while some Duval Elementary School students think they'd get one only "when pigs fly"...got one today.
The lobby at Shands AGH looked more like Santa's workshop than a hospital, that is until this morning when the forest of well-adorned Christmas Trees were bagged and shipped to the school. Today Santa's helpers wore scrubs. They had their list of families --and yes, they checked them twice-- of who would receive a tree and toys and all sorts of things nice.
Tamela Craig is raising her niece and nephew who both attend Duval. The gift her family is receiving from Shands, she says brings about the true meaning of the holiday.
"It is not about the presents, this is not about the decorations it's about giving," says Craig.
Taking on the role of chief elf, Grace Chesser, is coordinating the gift-giving effort that she says was a competition among the Shands departments --all vying to see who could create the best themed-tree. And no trimmings were spared.
"We look for ways to give back to our community, and Duval Elementary is our business partner," says Chesser.
The four most outstanding themes --including "When Figs Fly"-- won top honors. "And then our last category was plain tree and that was rehab services caring for the whole body, mind and spirit," added Chesser.
But when the surprise from Santa comes are the children aware? "I don't think so, because I wasn't either," grins Craig.
"To see the smiles on these children's faces when they receive these trees, these gifts and these gift cards for christmas that they may otherwise have a very limited Christmas," explains Chesser.
It reminds us all the true meaning of Christmas, as Craig summarizes best, "Someone took the time to think of them."
This is the fourth year that Shands AGH has done this making it possible for more than a hundred families with children to have a brighter holiday.
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