It’s tough to for kids to be in the hospital. They’re lonely and scared. When the holidays come, that’s magnified. They miss the warmth of celebrating with their families at home.
Many of the kids at Children’s Hospital of Michigan will spend the holidays in bed or nearby. That’s not lost on the employees, staff, volunteers, and community partners. Thanks to them the care provided at Children’s Hospital is wrapped in the warmth, joy and wonder of the season.
One of those partners is the Detroit Red Wings. Last week the entire team mingled with patients and families then made room to room visits. Sure, it drew media attention, but more importantly, the players got their goals by scoring some smiles from patients.
The Red Wings support the Children’s Hospital of Michigan throughout the year. The Red Wings Wish Club has raised more than $368,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation (CHM Foundation).
Also last week, 15 kids from Children’s Hospital set out on the 31st Flight to the North Pole, sponsored by the Eastern Airlines Silverliners. They joined patients from other local hospitals for this imaginary flight. They stopped at the Delta ticket counter to pick up their boarding passes and checked in with the help of the elves near the Silverliners desk. They proceeded through security, while being entertained by Shriners Clowns and the TSA and from there went to the gate.
After instructions from the pilot and the flight attendants, the shades were pulled down as the plane revved up to taxi off. Flight attendants served the children lunch then the engines revved again for the taxi back to the gate. After that elves and toy soldiers escorted them to the magical North Pole, an area donated by the Westin Hotel and decorated by the Silverliners.
They saw a short performance of “Frozen,” had cookies and other treats and left with presents after visiting with Santa.
There are eight members in the local chapter and a total of 21 Silverliners chapters in various U.S. cities, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
This week was wrapped in even more holiday spirit when donors began dropping off their gifts for the Adopt-A-Family program and Snowpile Day took off. That program allows parents of hospitalized patients to shop at no cost and select presents for their child and his or her siblings during the holidays. Thanks to many generous corporate and individual donors, these parents share holiday joy without having to leave their ill or injured child’s bedside.
The hospital may not be home, but the spirit and warmth of the holidays is certainly alive and well. Happy holidays!