Santa’s Workshop Comes to Miller’s Children’s Hospital for the Day

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A patient decorates a hand-made Christmas ornament with the help of a volunteer from the Signal Hill Police Department at the annual Santa’s Workshop event at Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach.

A patient decorates a hand-made Christmas ornament with the help of a volunteer from the Signal Hill Police Department at the annual Santa’s Workshop event at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach.

Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach brought the North Pole to Long Beach on Monday, Dec.8. With the help of Turner Construction, the company that built the hospital’s inpatient pavilion, and numerous local businesses and organizations “Santa’s Workshop” was set up at Miller Children’s for one day to help patients create unique gifts for their friends and family members. 

First thing in the morning, patients were given the chance to take a stroll down to “Santa’s Workshop” where they were greeted by volunteers to help them make presents for their families. Volunteers came from the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, Assistance League of Long Beach, Miller Children’s Auxiliary, Coach Art, Signal Hill Police Department and the Long Beach Police Department, who made their first appearance at “Santa’s Workshop” this year.

“We came out to the event this year because we wanted to make a difference in the community and impact the lives of people who need our support the most,” says Sgt. Rico Fernandez, Long Beach Police Department. “We set up toy donation boxes at all of our police stations to gather toys and hopefully make the holidays a bit easier for these kids and their parents who might not have time to go out and do all of the usual holiday activities right now, like shopping for presents.”

At the workshop patients made their way around to each volunteer table where they had the opportunity to craft unique gifts for their family members such as photo frames and Christmas tree ornaments. Patients also had the chance to design and decorate their own gingerbread houses with the help of volunteers from Rossmoor Pastries.

Patients and families lined up to take photos with Santa and share their Christmas wish lists. Each patient, and even their siblings, received a present from Santa. A few lucky patients also went home with iPads® thanks to the “Guess the Snowmen” challenge presented by non-profit organization, Angela’s Angels, where patients took a guess at how many snowmen were inside of a container.

Young patients who were too sick to leave their rooms got a special surprise as Santa and Mrs. Claus made their way around the hospital to patients’ bedsides delivering their first gifts of the season.

“Bringing special events like ‘Santa’s Workshop’ to Miller Children’s helps keep our patients on track with what is happening outside of the hospital,” says Rita Goshert, manager, Child Life Program. “Because they’re hospitalized, our patients might be missing out on special events at school or in the community so we want to make sure that the fun of the holidays is not lost for them.”

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