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Bringing the holidays to the hospital: Texas Children’s Hospital opens Christmas Tree Farm for patients
Bright, colorful lights. Hot chocolate and marshmallows. Stockings hung on the mantle. Gifts under the tree. The tree itself.
All these things are part of the magic that is Christmas. It is tied to a feeling of Christmas Spirit which so many children who are at Texas Children’s Hospital during this season might otherwise miss. No one wants those children to be focused on doctors, needles, and serious health conditions this time of year.
In an effort to spread holiday cheer, Texas Children’s Hospital partnered with J & J Flooring Group on an initiative called Helping Hands – a mission to bring Christmas to hospitalized patients. For the first time ever, children who are patients at Texas Children’s will have the opportunity to explore an on-site tree farm where they can select a special tree to brighten their hospital room.
“The holidays are a time where we celebrate with our loved ones,” said Texas Children’s Hospital Volunteer Services Manager Crystal Ortiz. ”Our kiddos are currently unable to do, so if we can bring them light during a dark time, then we absolutely want to do that however we can. We care about not just their physical well-being, but also their emotional and mental well-being.”
Nearly 150 trees were purchased by Texas Star Dental and then donated to J & J Flooring Group. Its teams took great pride in designing and hand decorating a unique theme for each tree, ranging from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Houston Astros and The Grinch.
“The drive behind it of course is the children and that’s what we have a passion for,” said Bambi Kocian with J & J Flooring Group. “This event, however, is not just about Christmas trees. It is about hope. It is about providing an enduring sense of future for the youngest of patients who face uncertainty as a result of their diagnosis. I just pray – hope and love – over every one of these children that will receive one of these trees. They should have something to look forward to beyond December 25th.”
Kocian wants to communicate that spirit of support to Texas Children’s pediatric patients who find themselves hospitalized during this festive time of year. “We can do this together. We are strong. We are a strong city,” she said.
The Christmas trees will be distributed Friday to patients in the hospital to decorate and brighten up their own rooms.