What Do Santa and the Elves Look Like?
I have come to realize that Santa comes in all shapes and sizes. Over the years the definition of Santa seems to have evolved from “jolly old soul” to “giver of gifts and wishes, kindness and love”. This year Dr. VanderArk stopped by to be one of our Santas – handing out gifts that were lovingly donated for our patients. This is just one of the many volunteer activities Dr. VanderArk is called on to do at Doctors Care. It is no longer enough to be visionary, board member, cheerleader, fearless leader, my supporter and giver of thanks to all our volunteers. Being Santa, in the moments illustrated in these pictures seemed important. I don’t think we say “Thank You” often enough for all he continues to do for our community.
Of course, we at Doctors Care wouldn’t get the privilege of playing Santa if it weren’t for the many “elves” in our community who donate all kinds of wonderful things for our patients. What is it about giving that ‘gives’ us so much joy? I sit at year end so grateful to be in the giving profession. I am reminded often how much giving occurs around me every day. Especially at this time of year, our staff and volunteers get to ‘re-gift’ the generosity of so many who donate beautiful gifts for our patients. No one leaves the building without a new hat or pair of gloves. Parents of little ones are grateful to choose a warm quilt or crocheted blanket. Children are delighted to receive a special teddy bear or a stocking full of treats and toys.
Yesterday I heard a child say that she loves the smell of her new teddy bear, lovingly made by a volunteer. The beautiful stockings that are filled with toys and packets of hot chocolate and cookie mix brighten a mother’s smile because she knows what a thrill it will be for her children. Of course this doesn’t just happen at the holidays, but this season seems to be especially stressful. Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle that adds a layer of expectation. Every time I see a child or parent thank us with a tear in their eyes, I start to tear up. You’d think after all these years it would be less emotional for me. Eighteen years into it and I am still so touched by the generosity of our community, our donors, our volunteers and our staff.
Bebe Kleinman, CEO