Each year, thousands of families adopt St. Francis as their hospital of choice to deliver their babies. This season our Family Life Center team chose to adopt two families in the community to deliver to them some special holiday gifts.
Gwinette Cowan, Senior Director of Women’s and Children’s Services, said with the help of Spiritual Care, two families with whom they could share the blessings of the season were identified. The families each needed a little extra help this Christmas. With donations generously given by her staff — more than $1,300 was collected — Gwinette purchased presents for the four children in each family, ages 8-22, as well as for their parents.
Gifts included sweatshirts, jackets, backpacks, soccer balls and tees, remote race cars, roller skates with helmet and knee pads, popular Squishmallow plushies, a jellyfish lamp, sportswear, and other items on the kids’ wish lists, plus men’s and women’s bath sets for mom and dad, along with $250 grocery store gift cards.
Gwinette personally delivered the gifts on December 23. She was greeted warmly by both families. Inside, a Christmas tree brightened each home; however, she noted that neither had any presents beneath the branches. The children were so excited to see the beautifully wrapped presents she had brought. They accepted them graciously and happily placed them under the tree… and waited expectantly.
Christmas Day arrived and the families shared photos featuring many smiling faces.
Gwinette said, “It was a privilege to be so intimate in the process, to meet the families, and to feel a shared joy for the season. This moment was my gift. I am grateful to everyone who donated and had a piece in our Giving Tree outreach. By each of us doing something small, we made a big difference.”
Thank you to the families who opened their doors and hearts to us to celebrate Christmas and the connection we share as a community.