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Friday, November 30, 2007

St. Francis gift program shares with needy in season of giving

Publication Date: November 30, 2007


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Joe Stuteville
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St. Francis gift program shares with needy in season of giving

INDIANAPOLIS – While one song hails the holidays as the “most wonderful time of the year,” for many families it’s a season of struggle.

That’s what continues to drive the Gift-a-Family program, coordinated by the Service Excellence and Volunteer Services at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. The annual program serves residents primarily on the city’s south side.

While the referral and selection of families for this year’s program has ended, St. Francis employees and their respective departments recently began “adopting” families and collecting new clothing, small household items and children’s toys and gifts.

“Each year we identify families who have been referred to us, and while they have different backgrounds they all share a common denominator – they’re needy and often in desperate situations,” said Sherri Walker, director of St. Francis’ Service Excellence and Volunteer Services. “And in the spirit of St. Francis, our employees step forward with generosity and compassionate concern to help them.”

St. Francis employees are expected to assist 76 families during the upcoming holidays.

The hospital also provides the families with food baskets, with food items coming from the hospital’s pantry. This year’s food baskets will be blessed Dec. 19 by St. Francis clergy before they are delivered with the gifts.