(L-R) Eira Romero, Director ER, Lorda Tauli, Med Surgical Director, and
Juan Larralde, Director, Critical Care at Mission Regional Medical Center
bring gifts to Alberto Acevedo and his brother Abise Acevedo North of
Mission off Highway 107
(Mission, Texas) Their faces just light-up and they get excited when they
see Juan Larralde dressed in his Red Santa Claus Outfit, “Hey, look
its Santa, he came to see us.”
It's all about the children and to see the smiles on all their faces.
Some might not have a Christmas without us helping a little bit,"
It begins early on a Saturday morning in December before Christmas. The
medical staff at Mission Regional Medical Center starts loading gifts
on what you would call a modern day sleigh. Juan Larralde, RN, Critical
Care Director dons the traditional Red Santa Claus suit and readies himself
for the long day. Larralde and his team wouldn’t have it any other way.
The effort to provide Christmas gifts to children in the impoverished area
of South Texas began four years ago when physicians donated funds and
asked the medical staff to find families in need. Area school districts
provide the hospital a list of area families who could use a little help
sharing the Christmas spirt with their children. This year, approximately
90 families and a local hospice received gifts from the Physicians at
Mission Regional Medical Center.
Over the last 4 years, this effort has become an annual tradition. It begins
with identifying families, buying and wrapping the gifts, and assembling
a team to deliver the gifts. Often times, even with GPS, it’s difficult
to find the families in the rural parts of the area.
The need is real. You don’t even have to ask. It’s there in
front of you. For many families, there simply isn't money to buy Christmas
gifts for the children. Basic needs, take precedence over holiday gifts.
"It's the most fulfilling project I work on all year," says
Eira Romero, Director ER, Mission Regional Medical Center.