The Emory Department of Cardiology started an annual holiday tradition 15 years ago when one of the employees asked that instead of exchanging gifts within the department they could sponsor a family in need. Each year the tradition has grown and the department has worked with the CASA (Fulton County Court Appointed Special Advocates) to support 20 children per year!
This year, the cardiology department team expanded the reach of their tradition, by including the Departments of Medicine and Cell Biology. In doing so, our Emory team was able to provide holiday gifts for 56 children that are in the care of the Fulton County court system. These are children that have either been abandon by their parents or removed from their homes by the courts. They are housed in dormitories and temporary foster homes and truly in need of help.
Emory team members purchased gifts ranging from toys, to bikes, to clothing, to books and educational aids for the children for the holiday season to bring some extra joy their way. Unfortunately, doing so during the holidays is not enough. The need is great and occurs year round. Everything from diapers to iPODs are needed for these children from our Atlanta community.
We hope to continue to expand this effort across Emory Healthcare and Emory University in the years ahead. Many children will have a little more joy in their day because of the generosity of a small group of employees. What would the world be like if we all shared a little of what we have with those in more need than us?
Have you started a holiday tradition to give back? If so, please share yours with us in the comments below!