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Lehigh Regional staff’s gift brings joy to in need families
December 4, 2019

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Families in need this holiday season were surprised by the staff and physicians at Lehigh Regional Medical Center just before Thanksgiving.

A little more than 25 families received a holiday gift basket complete with an entire day's worth of meals, plus a $25 Publix gift card from the physicians at the hospital.

Throughout the morning families arrived to come pick up their baskets and thank hospital staff and administration for their gift of kindness.

According to Charlene Fisher, Medical Staff Services director at Lehigh Regional, the hospital has participated in the Thanksgiving gift basket program for four years now.

"We started this program in collaboration with Lehigh Community Services when I started in 2015. It just seemed like the right thing to do. We also do our school supplies in September and a Socks for Senior's event during the holidays," Fisher said. "Our staff supplied all the baskets. Each basket contains enough food for the entire day on Thanksgiving, plus dessert, and paper plates and utensils, so they have everything they need."

Each year the hospital contacts the Lehigh Community Services to let them know how many baskets the staff will be able to supply.

"Once we let them know how many we can provide, they can then do their screening process. This way we make sure the baskets are getting to the families who really need them," Fisher said.

For one recipient, Corine Hotches, the gift basket makes the holidays a little bit brighter.

"I was fighting cancer and, due to chemotherapy and being ill, I was unable to work. I lost my home, but thank goodness I was able to come stay with my daughter who made a room for me. I'm very thankful for this extra help right now," Hotches said.

According to Maria Otero, a social service and literary coordinator at Lehigh Community Services, the gift baskets are of great help towards assuring that these families can enjoy the holidays.

"We are just thankful to the hospital and its staff for doing this year after year. Most of these families don't have much, sometimes not even a roof over their heads. This is a great way for the community to give back and show we care," Otero said.

Lehigh Community Services also held its annual Thanksgiving meal distribution the days preceding the holiday and will continue to accept non-perishable food items throughout the season.

Lehigh Community Services provides ongoing services to these families and countless others in the community by offering a food pantry, emergency utility bill assistance, assistance completing food stamp and Medicaid applications online and additional programs and services offered within the community. For more information visit www.lehighcommunityservices.com

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