Northwestern Medicine Employees Make the Holiday Season Brighter for More than 300 Children

Northwestern Medicine
News December 17, 2012
Northwestern Medicine employees deliver gifts to children'Tis the season for giving, and on Thursday, December 13, more than 60 Northwestern Medicine employees delivered more than 1,100 gifts to children in pre-K through 8th grade at Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts on Chicago’s near north side. The Adopt-A-Child for the Holidays program is part of a larger Adopt-A-School initiative, which has been in place for 28 years. Northwestern Medicine physicians, nurses and staff donated presents and gift cards to kids in need, which brought smiles to the faces of children and employees alike

Clinical pharmacist Elizabeth Vetter has been involved in the Adopt-A-Child for the Holidays program for the past four years. Vetter and her pharmacy team look forward to providing gifts to at least two Jenner Academy classrooms each holiday season.

“I think this program is important because it goes hand-in-hand with our Patients First mission of giving back,” said Vetter. “Donating and handing out the gifts to the kids each year puts everything into perspective of why we do what we do.”

Shawn McGee, employee programs manager at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, attributes the success of the program to the giving spirit of the Northwestern staff.

“The generosity displayed by our employees is incredible,” said McGee, “As an organization of caregivers, this is a time we all come together and focus on making children’s lives better.”

Since the Adopt-A-School program’s inception, more than 11,000 children have been touched by the kindness of Northwestern employees through holiday gifts in December and back to school donations in August.

“As someone who grew up in a low income family, a lot of these things were missing in my childhood too,” said Wally Babb, a medical assistant at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group in Evanston and first time participant in the program. “Now, I am in a position to help lend a helping hand and am able to see the amazing impact we have.”

All employees who visited the school shared similar sentiments.  “Going to deliver gifts at Jenner is amazing; it’s priceless to see the big smiles and excitement on the kids faces,” said Vetter.

“The students were so excited to see us and it’s wonderful to see how grateful the kids are,” added Rachel Rothstein, RN, a staff nurse in the MICU. “This experience has shown me the true meaning of the season.”

In addition to donating and delivering gifts to students at Jenner Academy of the Arts, employees from Northwestern Memorial and the Bernice E. Lavin Childhood Education Center also collected more than 200 toys and wish list items including paper towels, grocery store gift cards, and laundry detergent for families who are currently living at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s.

Northwestern Medicine is the shared vision that joins Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in a collaborative effort to transform medicine through quality healthcare, academic excellence and scientific discovery.

Learn more about Northwestern Medicine.

To view photos from the Adopt-a-Child for the Holidays program, visit us on Facebook.

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