At the Health Care Foundation, Christmas is a time of tradition – and also an opportunity to spread lots of cheer! One of our favourite traditions is Breakfast with Santa!
We have been offering up a hot breakfast, candy cane and a visit with Santa to Eastern Health employees for 14 years now. It has become a holiday tradition for many Eastern Health staff, with hundreds of staff attending the nine breakfasts scheduled at the Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre, Waterford Hospital, St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, Dr. Walter Templeman Health Care Centre and Pleasant View Towers.
“Breakfast with Santa started as a way for Eastern Health and the Health Care Foundation to recognize the tremendous contribution and service provided by the staff of Eastern Health,” said Paul Snow, President and CEO of the Health Care Foundation. “They look after everyone else all of the time, and we felt it would be a nice gesture to say thank you and serve them for a change.”
Breakfast with Santa would not be possible without Morrison HealthCare Foods. They donate and prepare the food, allowing 100 per cent of the proceeds go right back into health care here at home.
Bringing the Community Together
Each year, we depend on our volunteers to make Breakfast with Santa a huge success. For many years now, members of Eastern Health’s management team come out to serve up a hot plate to Eastern Health staff, and we are so thankful for their support.
This year we also had a number of local businesses come out to volunteer at our breakfasts, showing their thanks to Eastern Health employees. A huge thanks to Newfoundland Power, Johnson Insurance, McInnes Cooper, RBC and Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador for volunteering and donating.
Breakfast with Santa truly brings together communities of people, reaching staff from across a number of programs and bringing them together with our team, leadership and members of our community who care about the fantastic work happening at Eastern Health.
Supporting Hospital and Health Centres Here at Home
The Health Care Foundation is proud to be the official fundraising partner for hospitals within the St. John’s region, and also Pleasant View Towers and the Caribou Memorial Veterans Pavilion.
This year, proceeds from our Breakfast with Santa program supported Christmas presents for nearly 500 residents at our long-term care facilities!
“We are truly thankful for the contributions from the Health Care Foundation and its donors,” said Sean Pardy, Regional Manager, Allied Health, Eastern Health. “Thanks to their donation, hundreds of residents will have a smile on the face this Christmas Day when they wake up to find a Christmas gift under the tree for them.”
Joan Adams has been living at the Caribou Memorial Veterans Pavilion for three Christmases now. She loves Christmas time, and has built on her traditions now with the staff and residents at the Pavilion.
“I appreciate everything the staff do here; the care here is really good and they always keep us busy with tons of activities,” said Joan. “We get to go on a number of outings, play games and I am even involved in a baking group here.”
When told about the contributions being made by the community and staff this Christmas to provide her, and other residents, with a treat this Christmas, Joan was very thankful.
“It’s a lovely gesture. Thank you to everyone who has donated,” she said.
Who will you remember this Christmas?
This year, the Health Care Foundation’s goal to provide Christmas gifts and comfort items to those who will spend Christmas away from home was also supported by our annual Tree of Memories program. This program is now in its 30th year, and provides supporters with the opportunity to remember a loved one with a gift to the Tree of Memories.
We then honour all of those remembered on our Wall of Tributes and at the Annual Carol Service at the Health Sciences Centre on December 23 at 4 p.m.
Spreading Christmas Cheer
Breakfast with Santa isn’t our only means of spreading cheer during the holiday season! Thanks to our Waterford Auxiliary, patients spending Christmas at the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre will also receive a gift this Christmas! The Health Care Foundation also donates nearly $10,000 in grocery gift cards to the clients of Eastern Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Program during the holidays.
The holidays truly are a time to give back, and we would not be able to support the staff, patients, residents, clients and families of Eastern Health without our donors and supporters. Also, a big thank you to the amazing staff at Eastern Health who will spend their Holiday Season giving their time, knowledge and kindness to those they care for.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ■
This story was written by Jackie O’Brien, senior manager, communications & stewardship, with the Health Care Foundation.