SALINAS, CA, DECEMBER 12, 2017- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Salinas Valley Memorial
Healthcare System (SVMHS). A nine foot tall Christmas tree and large wreaths
adorn the main entrance of the hospital on East Romie Lane. The lamp posts
leading towards the main entrance of the Hospital are decorated with garland,
gold colored bows and white lights. At night, light projectors provide
the appearance of snow falling on the tall cedar pine trees located across
from the Hospital entrance.
“We want our patients, their families and our staff to feel the spirit
of the holiday season,” says Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas
Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “At night, the main entrance
of the hospital looks like a winter wonderland. This is a holiday tradition
we want to continue for many years to come.”
Service League volunteers have beautifully decorated the Appreciation Tree
located in the Merrill Lobby waiting area. The tree has been placed on
a rotating pedestal and has been decorated with dozens of small white
“The Appreciation Tree is a very special tree,” says Diane
Downey, Board Member of the SVMHS Service League. “Each angel has
the name of a person who brought joy or who continues to bring happiness
to a person’s life. It’s a great way to honor a loved one.”
People can purchase the angel ornaments for five dollars each and the proceeds
are used to buy items that are included in the cancer comfort bags given
to patients at the Cancer Resource Center. After the holidays, the ornaments
are sent to the person who purchased them.
Holiday traditions also extend to the labor and delivery unit where every
baby born during the month of December receives a hand knitted red hat.
Last year, dedicated volunteers provided red hats for each of the 131
babies born during December. Volunteers donating their time and talent
hand knit the caps with soft red yarn provided by the SVMHS Service League.
“This is a wonderful tradition,” says Shannon Graham, Director
of Volunteer & Health Career Services. “We are so grateful to
our volunteers for knitting these caps. It’s a special gift for
the baby and their family.”
The red hat program became so popular, that now all babies born at SVMHS
throughout the year receive a hand knitted hat. The hats are knitted or
crocheted in various colors and patterns by our dedicated volunteers.
Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is also proud to host a toy drive
with the Salinas Valley League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
Large boxes were placed throughout the hospital and other off sight properties
making it convenient for employees to drop of their gifts. The toys will
be distributed to children 4 to 12 years of age from the Alisal Elementary
School District before Christmas Eve.
“Thanks to the generosity of staff at Salinas Valley Memorial, hundreds
of under privileged children will have new toys on Christmas,” says
Berna Maya, a member of Salinas Valley LULAC who has been organizing this
toy drive with SVMHS for several years. “We love seeing the excitement
on the children’s faces when they receive their gifts.”