Young Patients Enjoy Santa’s Workshop at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach

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Santa presents Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach patient, Tyrell, with a new set of hot rods to race for the holidays at Santa’s Workshop.

Santa presents Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach patient, Tyrell, with a new set of hot rods to race for the holidays at Santa’s Workshop.

On Dec. 10, the patients and families of Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach gathered at the annual Santa’s Workshop to become Santa’s little helpers and celebrate the season of giving. Young patients, who cannot leave the hospital for the holidays, had the opportunity to shop Santa’s Workshop, join in festive holiday activities and, most importantly, have individual time on Santa’s lap as they waited for his thoughtful presents.

Upon entering a giant hospital forum, transformed into “Santa’s Workshop,” the patients were assisted by Miller Children’s very own chefs to decorate festive Christmas cookies before hand-selecting holiday gifts to present to family members and friends. The members of the Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach Auxiliary were on hand to help the children specially wrap and address the items for their loved ones. For families, the day’s highlight came as young patients, in hospital gowns and pajamas, lined up to visit with Santa and take personal photos to place in handmade keepsake frames.

Katha, 6, a Miller Children’s sibling, gets help from a Home Depot volunteer in making her very own holiday frame to hold the treasured picture of her moment on Santa’s lap.

Katha, 6, a Miller Children’s sibling, gets help from a Home Depot volunteer in making her very own holiday frame to hold the treasured picture of her moment on Santa’s lap.

The Child Life Program coordinates events, such as Santa’s Workshop, at Miller Children’s to help make the hospital experience more positive for children of all ages. This is especially important during the holiday season when patients and their families may be unable to leave the hospital to attend customary holiday events and traditions.

Turner Construction — the company that built the hospital’s new inpatient pavilion — lent a huge helping hand by bringing the Miller Children’s Santa’s Workshop to life through the donation of special holiday gifts and recruiting Santa from the North Pole. Volunteers from the Assistance League of Long Beach, Painted Turtle Camp, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach Auxiliary, Signal Hill Police Department, Coach Art and DJ Mike also helped to spread holiday cheer with crafts, cookie decorating and festive music.

“Turner’s generous employees allowed us to give a present to every single child in the hospital, and dozens for future patients admitted this holiday season,” says Rita Goshert, director of clinical operations, Child Life, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. “But the special attention our chronically-ill patients got with Turner employees is invaluable. Our patients and families all thank Turner for their time and generosity.”

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