Hospital employees from various departments throughout the
hospital have been collecting and wrapping gifts for the past month
in preparation for the event, said Pamela Wegner, a community
services representative with the hospital.
"[Our staff] is excited and happy about this," Wegner said
Tuesday. "We've been getting ready since Thanksgiving. It's really a
big deal for us at [Glendale Memorial].
"Instead of doing a Secret Santa-type of thing at work, employees
wanted to give something to these families," Wegner said.
An entire office at Cerritos was packed with gifts, all wrapped in
holiday paper and ribbons. Many hospital employees put messages like
"Glendale Memorial Hospital wishes you and your family a Merry
Christmas and a wonderful New Year."
Gifts ranged from bicycles and toys to clothing, stuffed animals
and food items.
More participation among hospital employees made it possible to
give gifts to about 10 more children this year, said Melinda Perez,
the community liaison for Cerritos Elementary. The hospital has
adopted Cerritos for about 10 years, Perez said.
About 28 children and their families will receive gifts donated by
the hospital this week, Perez said.
"For many of these families, this is it, this is their Christmas,"
Perez said. "That's why this is wonderful. You can see the excitement
on [the children's] faces."
Sixth-grader Ricky Barrera, one of the recipients, smiled shyly
when he walked into the room full of wrapped gifts.
"I feel good," said Ricky, 11. "I like Christmas because family