The holiday spirit came to life inside Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California when 45 cadets from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Academy visited on Saturday, Dec. 2. The cadets came as part of their class community service project, and they performed service in a big way. After a brief hospital introduction, the cadets broke into three teams and went straight to work sprucing up the hospital for the holidays. One team hung holiday lights in the shape of a Christmas tree in front of the hospital. One team cleaned the parking garage and stairwells. The third team hung holiday garlands and set up Christmas trees throughout the hospital, trimming them with lights and ornaments.
“We were delighted to have the cadets help deck the halls for the holidays,” said Volunteer Services manager Lillian Nelson. “They took tremendous pride in the project and brought the spirit of the season to light. By mid-afternoon, trees were up throughout the hospital for patients, families and guests to enjoy.”
Officer Everett Lopez, who coordinated the visit on behalf of the cadets, said he did his community service project at the Northern California Shriners Hospital when he was a cadet in the CHP Academy. “After having had several opportunities to visit Shriners, I’m amazed at the fact I’m able to learn something new each visit. I’m amazed at the selflessness and kindness by the entire staff and volunteers and passion demonstrated by all,” he said.
After completing the holiday projects, the cadets joined patients and families for a pizza party and ice cream social. There was music, laughter and smiles all around as cadets enjoyed a music and dance video with the kids and played other games with patients. The cadets concluded their visit by presenting the hospital with a PlayStationVR Headset.
Built on the belief that people can make a positive difference in the lives of others, Shriners Hospitals for Children is supported by a kind and generous community. All care is provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
The cadets spend months in rigorous training at the CHP Academy, which prepares men and women to become officers in the California Highway Patrol. When they leave the Academy to travel new roads, the cadets will carry memories of their day at Shriners Hospital with them.
Here are just a few of the comments cadets shared during their visit:
“My time here was spent simply decorating for Christmas. While this was not an arduous task, the thanks and appreciation shown to us by not only staff but also patients and parents was a reminder that simple acts of kindness and generosity can go a long way to brightening someone else’s day.”
“What an amazing place! Working here today has shown me that circumstances don’t determine joy and happiness, but people do.”
“From the time that I have spent here at Shriners Hospital, I have seen what can be accomplished when people put their time and compassion towards a great organization and cause.”
“I really enjoyed being able to spend time at Shriners. Being able to give back and help people in need is one of the reasons why I want to be in the CHP.”
“My visit here was more than just a volunteer requirement, it was an experience that will last a lifetime.”
“It has really opened my eyes even more to wanting to serve those in need.”
“Humbling experience. Makes you realize how great this hospital is. Thank you for the opportunity.”
“My experience at Shriners has reminded me how the most simple gestures go a long way. The smile on not only the kids’ faces but the parents made me feel really good!”
Shriners Hospitals for Children is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research. Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis. Care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000.