The holiday season inspires many to give back to their communities. From toy drives to food bank donations, people appreciate opportunities to help those who may struggle at this time of year. One group that is particularly focused on offering extra support? Those who work in health care.
“Helping others is in the DNA of health care workers. We see this every day, but especially during the holidays,” said Grace I. Davis, senior vice president of external affairs for Sutter Health. “Our employees champion our communities in so many ways. Not only through direct patient care, but also by aiding programs designed to provide additional support and lift the spirits of those in need.”
This year, employees across the Sutter Health system were invited to participate in Together We Give. The program offered employees the chance to purchase gifts for individuals and families in need this holiday season. Sutter collaborated with 20 community organizations across its Northern California footprint to identify recipients. Employees could choose an individual, family or families and select items from their holiday wish lists. The purchased gifts were then sent directly to the community organizations for distribution. The Child Abuse Prevention Center in Sacramento was one of those organizations. Founded in 1977, it is a service, training, advocacy and resource center dedicated to protecting children and building healthy families.
“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Sutter Health for their enduring commitment to the Child Abuse Prevention Center. Through their longstanding support, they have brought joy and hope to Sacramento County families by generously providing holiday gifts,” said Child Abuse Prevention Center President & CEO Janay Eustace. “Sutter Health’s unwavering dedication plays a crucial role in helping ensure that children and their families experience the warmth of the season. We are truly grateful for them as partners in making a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.”
Sutter has a long history of supporting various community organizations during the holidays. Sutter hospitals and care centers have teamed up with first responders, non-profits and other local agencies to host clothing, food and toy drives for decades. The Together We Give campaign aims to create an easy and streamlined option for teams across the network to further unite in generosity during the holiday season. The campaign helped secure more than 3,500 gifts this year for 450-plus families thanks to the participation of more than 1,400 employees.
Carmina Prado has some very personal reasons for contributing to the Together We Give campaign. The patient services representative who works for Sutter Medical Foundation in Elk Grove grew up in the Bay Area with immigrant parents and six siblings. She recalls a Christmas Eve where she found her mother crying.
“When I asked her why, she had to break it to me that Santa was not real. And that she couldn’t afford getting gifts for my siblings and I that year,” she said. “As an 8-year-old, and the eldest, it was truly heartbreaking and not an easy secret to hold.”
Prado says knowing the struggle and how stressful it can be for parents to provide the bare necessities throughout the year is part of her inspiration to help others.
“It is very rewarding to know that I can help a family in need to keep the spirit of the holidays alive,” she said.