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Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital provides holiday cheer to the needy

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Janet Christenbury

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital employees donated bicycles, toys and monetary gifts valued at more than $30,000 during the hospital's Christmas Giving Festival.

The gift of giving was abundant at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital during the Christmas holiday season, offering many people, both on the giving and receiving ends, a big reason to smile.

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital partnered with the Gateway Center in 2013 as its community partner, and in Dec., the hospital presented a check for more than $22,000 to representatives from the center. Throughout the year, the hospital held fundraisers including: bake sales, book sales and dunking booth contests to raise money for the center.

The Gateway Center grew out of former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's plan to address homelessness on a regional level through the development of the Regional Commission on Homelessness. The center's mission is to end homelessness by providing the support and framework people need to achieve self-sufficiency. The program offers its clients temporary beds, therapeutic services, showers, lockers, a clothing closet, access to telephones and laundry facilities

Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Services is one of more than 20 collaborative agencies that provides services to the homeless at the Gateway Center.

In addition to Emory Saint Joseph's donation to Gateway, many Christmas gifts and funds were collected for the needy during the hospital's annual Christmas Giving Festival. Twenty-six hospital departments or units came together to provide gifts to approximately 75 families, some associated with Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Services, and others from Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital itself.

Hospital employees have been participating in the Christmas Giving Festival for more than 20 years, and this holiday season, they donated a variety of bicycles and toys valued at more than $30,000 to support these families during challenging times.

"The support for the Gateway Center and Mercy Care Services from Emory Saint Joseph's employees has been overwhelming," says Jeanne Landry, vice president of human resources at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital. "Employees truly felt they were responding to a greater purpose in connecting with two wonderful organizations in the community that make such a difference to those who are poor and vulnerable. Emory Saint Joseph's has historically had a bond with community partners, which directly tie to our mission and values. The executive leadership team at Saint Joseph's is truly grateful to the leadership, staff, volunteers and physicians for their participation in such an effort and want to congratulate them all for this spectacular achievement."

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