Union Hos­pi­tal dis­trib­utes Thanks­giv­ing bas­kets




— Fif­teen Gilpin Manor El­e­men­tary School stu­dents and their fam­i­lies got a lit­tle help with their Thanks­giv­ing din­ner on Mon­day.

The fam­i­lies re­ceived Thanks­giv­ing bas­kets as part of Union Hos­pi­tal’s an­nual food drive for the school’s Hol­i­day Help Pro­gram. Union Hos­pi­tal em­ploy­ees and Tri­an­gle Health Al­liance em­ploy­ees both do­nated food, said JeanMarie Kelly, com­mu­nity ben­e­fits co­or­di­na­tor for the hos­pi­tal.

The bas­kets had food items such as turkeys, din­ner rolls and pies, among other good­ies to make a tra­di­tional hol­i­day din­ner. The bas­kets even in­cluded in­struc­tions on how to cook the bird.

The bas­kets are a re­sult of Union Hos­pi­tal’s part­ner­ship with GMES, through the Busi­ness and Ed­u­ca­tion Part­ner­ship Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil (BEPAC), Kelly said.

Union Hos­pi­tal worked with the school’s Fam­ily Out­reach Worker Me­gan Bai­ley and the school coun­selor Lau­ren Fred­er­ick to co­or­di­nate, said Kim Sands, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal at Gilpin Manor, not­ing the bas­kets go to fam­i­lies in fi­nan­cial need.

Sands said she hopes the bas­kets will give fam­i­lies the chance to create mem­o­ries dur­ing the hol­i­day.

“You can’t put a value on what this does for the fam­i­lies,” she said. “Hope­fully, it’ll bring fam­i­lies to­gether, so they can laugh and smile and make mem­o­ries, not worry about where their Thanks­giv­ing meal is com­ing from.”

Bai­ley said she and Fred­er­ick reached out to fam­i­lies about whether they would like to re­ceive a turkey be­fore the do­na­tion pe­riod. Last year, 12 bas­kets were dis­trib­uted, she added.

Be­fore the par­ents could pick up the bas­kets, Kelly and two Union Hos­pi­tal staff de­liv­ered the bas­kets to the school. Af­ter the drop-off, par­ents picked up the bas­kets through­out the school day. Out­side of those 15 bas­kets, an­other 11 were made and will go to­ward the hos­pi­tal’s Em­ployee Hard­ship Fund, Kelly said.

Siena Charlese, who picked up her bas­ket, said the bas­kets will help fam­i­lies like hers have a Thanks­giv­ing din­ner.

“I think they are do­ing a good job for fam­i­lies in need,” Charlese said. “Even though I work, I’m not rich.”

She said the bas­ket will help her to give to her fam­ily a tra­di­tional Thanks­giv­ing din­ner and she is look­ing for­ward to the hol­i­day.

“(It will) give my fam­ily a Thanks­giv­ing be­cause I didn’t have the money to,” Charlese said.

Fred­er­ick said this is her first year par­tic­i­pat­ing and that she was im­pressed with how many items are in­cluded in the bas­kets. The bas­kets in­clude ev­ery­thing a fam­ily might need for their hol­i­day din­ner, she said.

Bai­ley said this is her sec­ond time par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event.

“It’s a pretty great ex­pe­ri­ence to see them come in and to re­ceive the bas­kets,” Bai­ley said. “You get to see how grate­ful they are.”


Me­gan Bai­ley, fam­ily out­reach worker with Gilpin Manor El­e­men­tary School, Siena Charlese, bas­ket re­cip­i­ent, and Lau­ren Fred­er­ick, the school’s coun­selor, hold up Charlese’s Thanks­giv­ing Day bas­ket.

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