It’s been the chapter’s holiday tradition for more than ten years to provide pediatric patients a way to shop for holiday gifts for their families while they’re being treated at the hospital. Kids like nine-year-old Darius went back to his room with gifts for his parents, three siblings, four dogs and one cat. About 25 children at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and 45 kids at Randall Children’s Hospital experienced Holiday Magic this year. “Oh, my gosh! Am I at the North Pole?” asked one seven-year-old boy after receiving a stocking filled with his favorite toys, including LEGOs.
While their gifts were being wrapped by Make-A-Wish elves, the kids had their pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. For two-year-old Keller, it was his first time meeting Santa. Molly enjoyed chatting with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and even listened to some of Santa’s silly jokes.
Holiday Magic isn’t just about the gifts; it’s a chance to spread holiday joy and to let local families know about Make-A-Wish. For one boy at Randall Children’s Hospital, it was his first time leaving his room in 35 days. One mother told us, with tears in her eyes, that she hasn’t seen her daughter smile like that in a long time.
All of this was made possible by the wonderful staff at both hospitals, as well as Make-A-Wish volunteers who spent time buying, sorting and packing the gifts, setting up Santa’s toyland, escorting the kids, and wrapping the gifts. “They helped create that special moment for each child,” said Linda Cohen, volunteer manager at Make-A-Wish Oregon.
And, of course, we would like to give our thanks to Santa and Mrs. Claus for traveling all the way from The North Pole to take part in our annual Holiday Magic.