For those patients who find themselves in the hospital for Christmas, missing the celebrations can make their illness or injury more miserable.
The Bethlehem-Center Middle School Student Council, for example, helps staff at Washington Health System Washington Hospital and WHS Greene bring holiday cheer to patients.
Student council members donated 200 wrapped gifts that will be given to all patients who will not be able to return home for Christmas.
“Our kids think it’s so disappointing that some people are alone for the holidays, and especially with COVID you can’t have a room full of people, so they were so excited about it,” Erin Beyer said, who co-sponsors the college student council with teacher Tait Klein.
The students wrapped 200 comfortable socks with non-slip soles and wrote Christmas cards to include with each gift.
“We are delighted to offer them to our patients and hope it brightens up their Christmas Day,” said Stacey Haney Rush, Director of Patient Experience at WHS. “Hospitalizing a patient is difficult at any time of the year, but it is especially difficult for the patient and their family members during the holidays.
Student council members also packed 100 pairs of socks and included Christmas cards for residents of a Waynesburg nursing home.
Beyer said the student council had visited the retirement home to drop off Christmas gifts and decorate trees for residents in recent years, but were unable to do so last year or this year. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christmas gifts for WHS patients will be distributed along with gifts provided by WHS Patient Family Centered Care (PFCC).
Last year, PFCC volunteer lawyer Kathy Myers and her niece made homemade Christmas decorations, and WHS nurse December Ersek-Dessify made holiday masks for patients.