Making Spirits Bright

Each December our clients and residents are blessed with holiday gifts and visits from Santas in red and blue. Here are a few memorable traditions that keep us humble and thankful to the generous hearts that bring joy and celebration to our residents and staff each year.

Stepping into the Unknown – An account of a first-time visit to a children’s medical group home

By Brianna Carreras, Marketing & Development Coordinator

When I visited Sterling Medical Group Home for the first time, it was over the holidays, and I had no idea what I would be stepping into.

As I waited for someone to answer the doorbell, the sight of heads bobbing up and down caught my attention. Through the window, I saw bouncing and laughter as the staff and children enjoyed their new trampoline.

Upon entering, I was overcome with a sense of warmth and emotion. The home was beautiful, tidy, cozy, and looked nothing like what I had expected a “group home” to look like. Each child had their portraits proudly displayed in the living room with each of their Christmas stockings draped below.

One of the young residents was excited for the festivities and put on her favorite Justin Bieber Christmas song as she spun and danced in her wheelchair. Minutes after I arrived, a group of very special guests knocked at the door. Blake Van Es, accompanied by her children, neighbors and friends greeted us with gifts for the children, decorations for the tree and a spread of delicious treats.

Blake and her husband, Johnjay Van Es, have graciously sponsored holiday giving for the residents of the Sterling Group Home for over ten years. “She goes there all the time and holds babies; loves on all the kids and brings my kids over to play video games,” said Johnjay of his wife, Blake. He jokingly went on, “…Believe me it’s like a WWE event when all those kids get together.”

It’s because of the generosity of families like Blake’s that our group home children get to experience the joys of family, friendship, love and compassion year after year. Thank you Blake, Johnjay and friends for your continued support of Hacienda over all these years.

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