It is a difficult time of year if you or a loved one is stuck in hospital. Being away from home, and the traditions that come with it, makes it hard to enjoy the holidays.
But some Hamilton hospitals and volunteers are doing everything they can to brighten the season for their patients.
For sick patients and their families, ‘The Give Shop’ at Juravinski Hospital is a welcome taste of normalcy. And at Christmas time, it becomes even more important as it offers a chance to do what most of us take for granted.
Helen Marriage, The Give Shop: “To enable them to give a gift and to choose something themselves. Not just have their husband or daughter go out but they can actually say that they chose that perfect gift themselves.”
Hospital-bound patients will also be getting a gift. On Christmas Eve, volunteers will hand out 900 flowers to those who can’t go home for the holidays.
Patients at St. Joe’s West Fifth campus are also getting special deliveries.
For mental health in-patients, their stay in hospital can often last months or even years. And Christmas can be the most difficult part.
That’s why a group of psychiatry residents is packaging over 250 gift bags with blankets and other goodies.
Rachel Lamont is the organizer of Psychiatry Elves: “People just need to know that somebody cares. So this is our way of saying that we care.”
The Hughes family is showing they care this Christmas with a big donation to Ronald McDonald House. They stayed there this summer when their young daughter, Avery, passed away. In her memory, they’ve given a tree for other families to gather around Christmas morning.
Chantell Tunney is CEO of Ronald McDonald House: “Try to get their families together and just try to create some community around them when they’re far away from things that they know.”
Ronald McDonald House will be full of kids this Christmas. And they have lots of excitement planned. Santa Claus has been known to stop by.