Back in July of 2021, the Adelante Goodyear staff gathered together and decided to make a list of the families they thought would benefit from the 3rd annual Breakfast with Santa event held in December. Each department came together and decided to sponsor the Gonzalez, Chavez, and Kosimjchova, and Reyna/Moreno families.
Each family was contacted and asked a series of questions like who the members in the family are, what their clothes sizes are and what items they wanted for Christmas. Staff created their own advent angel trees, hanging the wishes of the four families. One by one, staff members took turns grabbing the gift tags off the tree and buying the items, so that when December 20th came around, there was a table full of beautifully wrapped gifts, creating a colorful backdrop behind where Santa sat.
“The staff look forward to doing this every year, said Adelante Goodyear Site Leader Chris Pua’a. “This is the third year doing this and the staff absolutely loves it.”
Looking into the room, you see staff dressed in various Christmas sweaters. On one table is a station with two mailboxes propped, a template of letters and pens where the children can write their very own letter to Santa. On the other side, staff sit ready to handout the stocking stuffer kits that they made. Little Christmas tattoos and small square-cut sponges neatly packaged in a baggie waiting to be tossed in a stocking that awaits the families. Buckets of chocolates and candy lined each table.
The air smelled of maple syrup and Cracker Barrel pancakes, the hot breakfast that awaited all the families. As the families trickled in one at a time, they were able to sit down to enjoy breakfast and take turns sitting with Santa as he gave each child their gift.
Gift ranged from soccer balls, clothes and arts and crafts. Each parent was also given a $100 giftcard that they could use for things like groceries.
One child opened a gift, revealing a Clayton Kershaw Dodger’s jersey. A smile from ear to ear adorned his face and the excitement he felt filled the room. He lifted the jersey and immediately walked off to show it off to his mom, forgetting the rest of the gifts that Santa had given him, but to him it didn’t matter because his Christmas was complete.
His mother, with tears in her eyes, told staff that this was the best Christmas her children have had in a long time. After the family experienced several hardships, she was uncertain if her kids would experience a happy holiday.
“It’s about the kids,” says Christina Berumen, Adelante Goodyear’s Medical Specialist. “It’s always been about the kids and giving them the Christmas they deserve”
There’s no denying the children’s excitement. As each child opened their gift their small faces encapsulated with so much joy, not even a facemask could hide. The parents stood in front of them exchanging the same smile and taking pictures of the experience.
But in looking around the room, you saw a staff glowing with purpose and meaning, knowing that its more than just the medicine that changes lives. It’s the spirit, the human kindness, and overall passion the staff shares for its patients.
“Each year we’ve sponsored 4 to 5 families. This year we were able to sponsor four families, but next year we want to aim for 8… maybe even 12,” says Berumen. “Because this is what it’s all about. It’s about us giving back whenever we can.”