By Lisa PAREDES
ll 455 youngsters at Cerritos Elementary School in Glendale were treated to a special holiday gift-giving event on Dec. 17. Representatives of the Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center gave each student a personally chosen, wrapped holiday present.
The annual December Spirit Assembly has become an event both those associated with the hospital and the school children anticipate. The students each fill out a wish list and hospital volunteers and personnel buy a gift for each child from their list. While receiving the gifts, the children enjoyed cupcakes provided by Portos Bakery in Glendale.
Many of Glendale Memorial’s employees, physicians, board members and volunteers joined in to spread the good will, purchasing gifts or donating money towards the gifts. Hospital employees then volunteered to wrap each gift and put a personalized nametag on it.
“Each year, our employees and volunteers experience so much joy in giving presents to the children at Cerritos Elementary School,” said Bonnie Butler-Sibbald, manager of Volunteer Services for Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital. “It’s wonderful to know that our hospital community comes together with the goal of bringing holiday joy to a child, reflecting our Dignity Health values and our commitment to ‘humankindness.’”
Gifts this year included LEGOs, puzzles, books, art supplies, dolls and stuffed toys.
“Our students were thrilled to receive gifts from Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital,” said Cerritos Elementary Principal Perla Chavez-Fritz. “We are delighted to have this longstanding partnership with Glendale Memorial.”
“Our school motto is ‘Achieving Excellence Together,’ and our community partnerships truly encompass this spirit,” she added.
The partnership for the annual holiday gift distribution between Glendale Memorial and Cerritos Elementary goes back 11 years. More than 96% of Cerritos’ students live at or below the poverty level.
“It was wonderful to experience the joy of the students after the huge pile of presents was revealed on the stage during their assembly,” said Butler-Sibbald. “Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital employees, physicians, volunteers and board members are very honored to be part of such a special day for the children at Cerritos Elementary School.”
“This wonderful opportunity to participate in the spirit of the holiday season, while granting holiday wishes for all 455 children at Cerritos, truly reflects one of our core Dignity Health values – collaboration,” she also said.