Maury Regional Medical Center delivered gifts to 624 local children this year as part of its Holiday Hugs program, which has seen more than 10,000 gifts delivered to children since its creation more than 20 years ago.
"It is always heartwarming to see the difference Holiday Hugs makes in children’s lives,” said Cindy Short, director of volunteer services at MRMC. “Programs like Holiday Hugs are important every year, but a lot of people are struggling this holiday season in particular due to the strain of the pandemic or economic uncertainty. We are grateful to be able to give back and provide support for them in these challenging times.”
The program identifies children in need attending Maury County elementary schools and puts their wish list on an online database, enabling individuals to print off said information and donate a gift.
Following the delivery of a gift, Maury Regional volunteer services, along with help from the Supply Chain and Plant Operations departments, personally deliver each gift to the appropriate school.
“It is wonderful to see individuals from across the hospital come together to support this wonderful cause — from the hundreds of employees who purchase and wrap gifts to our volunteers who sort the packages to our supply chain and plant operations colleagues who help with coordination and transportation,” Short said.
“Hundreds of children in our community will have coats and sweaters this winter thanks to their generosity and dedication to this endeavor. I thank everyone who participated.”
The gift-giving program began in 1999 — then called Christmas Steps — where it provided shoes to 354 children that year. Transforming into its current form of Holiday Hugs in 2001, the program has seen the number of gifts delivered increase year after year.
"We appreciate the opportunity to serve our communities at this special time of year,” said Maury Regional Health CEO Alan Watson.
“At Maury Regional Health, we are blessed to have an outstanding team of individuals who are committed to impacting the lives of not only our patients but also the lives of people throughout our service areas.”