Methodist Hospitals employees made Christmas morning a little brighter for nearly 200 children as a parade of bicycles, dolls, trucks, games, bedding and clothes were loaded into five trucks to be delivered to the Salvation Army as part of its Angel Tree Program.
The Angel Tree program provides underprivileged children with holiday gifts and shows that someone in the community cares about them. Methodist Hospitals has participated in the program for several years and employees are enthusiastic to take part in it every year.
"It is a blessing to be fortunate enough to give back to others," said Shirley Roberson from the Human Resources Department at the Northlake Campus in Gary.
"The angel tree program gives us the opportunity to make sure these kids wake up on Christmas day a little happier and with something to look forward to. We are a community, we take care of each other. That is what Christmas is all about," Roberson said.
Also during the holiday season, mothers who delivered at Methodist Hospitals were happily surprised to see their newborn baby wrapped in a special red holiday stocking.
"Right after the babies are born, we bring them to the nursery to bathe them and dress them before bringing them out to their mothers. During the holidays, we bring them out in a red stocking. The reaction is always great - lots and lots of photographs," explained Jill Biggs, RN in the Nursery at Methodist Hospitals.
The program started several years ago when the hospital volunteers would donate stockings for all babies born on Christmas day. This year, the program was expanded to all babies born in December.