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Local hospital gives back to the community despite fewer donations to organizations helping families

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:02 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Santa Claus spent his Friday morning at New Hanover Regional Medical Center preparing gifts for their annual holiday tradition: Adopt-A-Family.

It’s been a holiday tradition for years now, and it’s taken on more importance since the start of the pandemic.

“We adopted 111 families. It was 54 families from three different organizations, plus 53 children from the Salvation Army,” said Emily Shively with NHRMC. “It really just holds a special place in my heart and it’s such an amazing impact to see it touch so many different lives.”

Each family will receive hundreds of dollars worth of gifts. Some essentials like clothes and shoes, and some for fun, like bikes and toys.

These efforts are welcomed by the Salvation Army’s Christmas Center.

Major Connie Morris with the Salvation Army said that overall, donations are down this year, and so is the number of children in need.

“It is a little bit lower than the previous year because of the lightening of the pandemic. More people are working, and also because we’re recovering more from Florence, so people are not as in need of our help because they’re able to take care of themselves. That means the people that are on our Angel Tree really are in need,” said Major Morris.

Major Morris also mentioned that they’ve received a large number of gifts for younger kids and are now looking to help children eight and older — and, the sooner the better so gifts can be distributed in plenty of time for Christmas.

“Angel Tree gifts are coming in very slowly and I’m hoping everybody doesn’t wait until the last minute on the 13th to turn their gifts in because it takes longer than a day to get ready for over 2,100 kids,” Major Morris said.

The Salvation Army is accepting donations through next week and Major Morris hopes that things pick up so that every child has a smile on their face this Christmas.

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