Thanks to the generosity of Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer and Hammond employees and community business-partners, hundreds of area residents will enjoy merrier a holiday season, thanks to an Adopt-A-Family program that is in its 26th year. Names of needy families are given to hospital departments, which in turn purchase and wrap gifts that are later delivered to recipients’ homes.
This year, 17 participating departments at the Dyer campus provided gifts for 11 families, while 32 Hammond campus departments brought joy to 41 families – with a total of 288 adults and children served. During a blessing program and celebration at the Hammond campus on Dec. 19, the Rev. Gregory Holicky is shown blessing with holy water a portion of the gifts that filled the cafeteria. Leading the group in song was Ron Foltman, director of the St. John the Evangelist Church (in St. John) Praise Band. A similar program took place at the same time at the Dyer campus.
The families are obtained from the Lake County WIC program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children). WIC has the families complete a request form, which are sent to the hospitals. Some departments also adopt an employee or patient who has been chosen from their units. Employees also purchase either gift cards from local grocers or food for a Christmas dinner for a family to enjoy on Christmas.