This time of year begins the Holiday Season, where each month brings colder weather and families closer together. Collectively, we assemble indoors with our bounties of Halloween candy, special Thanksgiving meals, and Christmas presents stacked under the tree. After two years of pandemic lockdowns and public restrictions, we might reflect on these holidays more fondly than before, our separation reminding us of how important togetherness can be. However, for some less fortunate families, sickness or tragedy might result in a hospital stay that prevents them from gathering. In the broader community, some less privileged families may not have the resources to provide an abundant table of Thanksgiving treats or Christmas presents. Every Holiday Season, our generous staff and UMC, as a charitable organization, do what we can to bring joy to everyone we can. We find innovative ways to celebrate by hosting fun and inclusive events.
In October, spooky season invites UMC’s newest event, Trunk or Treat, on October 27th from 5 PM – 7 PM in the Business and Technology Center parking area. The event is a community outreach effort highlighting our Passion in Action initiative. Ultimately, the event serves as a safe space for children to Trick or Treat in a controlled environment under the supervision of family, UMC employees, and local sponsors excited to bring a little holiday cheer to children in the region. UMC Children’s Hospital also hosts our annual In-Patient Trick or Treat this year in the McInturff Conference Center from 10 AM – 11:30 AM, where departments around the hospital come together to help put a sweet smile on the faces of pediatric patients.
From year to year, sponsors have donated Thanksgiving meals to families in the hospital, offering them an opportunity to be a part of the Thanksgiving tradition despite an otherwise challenging situation. Around Christmas, Santa visits UMC Children’s Hospital, handing out toys to young children and helping to make their day a little more merry and bright.
Spreading cheer is the most important goal, but the hospital’s community involvement contributes to the public’s impression of our hospital. We become part of the community as we work daily to build trust through our commitment. We find ways to lessen the stress associated with long hospital stays. People remember UMC as a special place, no matter our patients’ circumstances.
The Holiday Season gives us, as individuals, an opportunity to be charitable not only to those under our charge but also to our fellow employees. We have an opportunity to recognize those we work with who bring light and enjoyment to our long days caring for others. As we move toward the end of 2022, consider ways you can reach out to others. Consider a simple Manage Up nomination, a card or gift, or just a simple “thank you” that might make someone’s day happier. Something as simple as kind words can go a long way. We all have something to give, some way to be considerate of one another, to show empathy and thoughtfulness—these sweet gestures, in a time dedicated to acknowledging and loving one another, sometimes make all the difference.