SLV Health Participates in "Adopt a Family"

Over 100 individuals in the San Luis Valley are going to have surprises under their Christmas tree this year thanks to the coordinated efforts between employees at San Luis Valley Health and local agencies.

SLV Health employees and local agencies including Adelante, PALS, and the Migrant program collect under the tree at San Luis Valley Health at the gift hand-off.

Names of indigent children and families were submitted to Marisa Fricke, Service Excellence Director at SLV Health to “Adopt a Family” and provide some items on their wish/needs list which ranged from bedding and warm clothes to a new bike and telescope. 

McNeilsmith, Martin, and FrickeDirector of La Puente Judy McNeilsmith, SLV Health CEO Konnie Martin, and Service Excellence Director Marisa Fricke

Marisa said, “We originally planned on helping 10 families through the Adelante program. However, once the SLV Health staff heard of this amazing opportunity, I received so many requests that I knew I needed to turn to our other community partners to find more families we could help this Christmas.” Marisa worked with leadership from the Migrant Education Program hosted at ASU as well as La Puente’s programs which provide direct services to families enrolled in the PALS and Adelante programs. Marisa reported, “We served over 102 individuals. Many families that were adopted only submitted the needs and wishes of their children, so along with the children’s gifts, gift cards were also generously donated to parents.”

Tara Bay, Director of Adelante, commented, “Being able to serve families through the Adelante Program is a blessing but also heart wrenching. Most of the families that enter into our program enter with very little in their possession. Families are so appreciative that they have a roof over their head. 

people discussing donationsEsmeralda Martinez, Migrant Ed Director, Patti Thompson, Chief Clinical Officer at SLV Health and Edgar Martinez, State Recruiter at Migrant Ed. stop to discuss the group of gifts being donated.

Because our families live from day to day, it is difficult for them to think about Christmas and what they cannot do for their family. What is supposed to be a magical season of joy for most is sad and brings on a lot of anxiety. Because of the great generosity of SLV Health employees, this extra added stress and pressure was relieved. Watching the excitement of parents coming in to pick up the wonderful gifts and hearing comments like, ‘I can't believe we are going to have a Christmas this year’ or ‘Now there is going to be something under the tree Christmas morning,’ and seeing the tears flow brings it home for us here. This was only made possible because of the kindness and good will for your neighbor and fellow community members. I want to personally THANK YOU [SLV Health] and your staff for sponsoring our families.” 

departments donationsMany departments and individuals generously adopted families. Conejos County Hospital Staff gather around donated gifts.

Emily Bussey, Revenue Cycle Support Specialist at SLV Health, helps load a car with gifts.

Emily BusseyTim Dellett, Director of the PALS program, added, “It means so much for our families to have a little extra help this year from Santa's helpers at SLV Health. The PALS staff were impressed and touched by the amazing outpouring of generosity. Our parents have expressed thankfulness, surprise and relief knowing what will go under their tree this year. With tears in her eyes, one of our parents exclaimed, ‘This will be a Christmas like my boys have never experienced!’ Thank you all so much for keeping the Spirit of Christmas alive!”

Esmeralda Martinez, Migrant Ed Director, noted, “It is a privilege and an honor to be a part of such a generous community.  My heart is still filled with so much joy and gratitude to have witnessed so much generosity from staff and members of the San Luis Valley Health. I was amazed by the multitude of presents wrapped and unwrapped that occupied most of the front lobby of the hospital. Our migrant families will be so grateful, as some of these families were not expecting any gifts this holiday season. The gift of giving is a dual benefit; kids will feel the joy of receiving an unexpected toy, jacket, shoes or clothes and the sponsor receives the intrinsic satisfaction of making a difference in a kid's life.” On behalf of the whole MEP team, Martinez expressed her gratitude to the caregivers who take care of the health needs of the families in addition to providing joy and smiles during the holidays.

Jenniffer BairdJenniffer Baird, Director of Quality and Compliance at SLV Health helps carry gifts to an agency vehicle

Konnie Martin, CEO at SLV Health, stands with a bike, telescope and groups of other gifts donated by employees of San Luis Valley Health.

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adopt a family poster