For some children at Union Hospital their diagnosis will keep them away from home during the holidays.
However, a young group of kids from Rosedale Elementary decided they wouldn’t let that keep them from receiving a bit of Christmas magic.
One fifth grader from Rosedale took it upon himself to become one of Santa’s helpers.
He and his classmates delivered gifts to the kids in the union hospital pediatric unit and while the presents were a great surprise. They may not have realized it, but those little ones delivered the true meaning of Christmas.
“Nobody likes to be in the hospital and nobody likes to be in the hospital around the holidays,”says pediatric nurse Jennifer Harrah.
Jacob Cotrell took it upon himself to help deliver some holiday cheer to those who may be having a tough time this holiday season.
“Jacob just came to me one day and said, “Ms. Tharp I want to do a toy drive,” and so we ran with it and we asked the principal and we got it all started because of Jacob,” says Ms. Whitney Tharp, a fifth grade teacher at Rosedale Elementary.
Jacob found inspiration for this big project through a story that has sparked random acts of kindness throughout the country.
“We are reading a story, it is called ‘Wonder’, and we are talking about kindness and I think they are putting it into the real world now and they wanted to share those toys with the kids,” says Tharp.
Ms. Tharp’s 5th grade class traveled all throughout the pediatric unit delivering gifts to some very deserving girls and boys, “so not everybody has a chance to have a Christmas and we wanted to make sure the ones at Union Hospital did.”
While the recipients of the gifts sure seemed to enjoy them, “I like them,” said one patient after receiving his gifts, “I can see through the hole and I can see the track!”
The kids giving the gifts had smiles that were just as wide.
“I think it sets a good example for their other friends and students at school, but overall I think they just knew that they made some little kids day today by giving them that gift,” says Harrah.
Presents are synonymous with the holiday season but whether they realized it or not, that 5th grade class delivered the true meaning of Christmas.
Harrah says, “having that little extra gift helps them to pass the time while they are here, kind of brings a little bit of joy and it just really shows that people in our community care about others and giving.”
The students that were giving the gifts said they were so excited to be able to actually hand deliver some of the items to the patients and the parents of the recipients were grateful for the experience as well.
The toys that were given to the patients were gathered by the 5th grade class.
Some went out and picked out new gifts they thought the patients would enjoy and some even brought their favorite toys from home in hopes that the new owners would get the same joy as they did.