GMSF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on providing assistance to children in need

A Thank You Letter from the Director of the Child Life Program

Posted 01.26.2018

January 12, 2018

Dear Lynn, Tom, and the entire Gambino family,

Happy New Year! I hope you are all doing well and enjoyed your holidays. On behalf of the entire Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for providing our patients and families … and staff … with such beautiful experiences! I’m not sure you understand the extent to which your generosity and efforts impact all who enter the children’s hospital. The atrium decorating is eagerly anticipated by everyone who works here and knows the transformation that is about to occur each year! It is a haven for all those who enter the space and it is absolutely magical to stand in the middle of it all. I enjoy listening to conversation about it … those who believe the best time of day to enjoy it is early in the morning when it is quiet and still quite dim …. those who prefer late at night when it is dark and the lights are at their brightest … and still those who enjoy most in the middle of the day when the atrium is busiest, with children and families taking pictures in front of the Christmas tree or in the middle of the wood-lawn pines. Whatever the opinion, it is such a special gift that you provide to so many!

And of course, the holiday party! Such a phenomenal event! It is so wonderful that your whole family comes out to enjoy and see firsthand the patient’s reactions. The oohs and ahs when they see the tables lined with gifts and more gifts. It’s hard to believe they can sit still through Lou’s entertainment before they can receive one! Yet they do … and that is due to Lou’s engaging performance … it never gets old! He is a true entertainer at heart, and knows how to reach all ages. I think my favorite part is watching the reactions of the parents … from smiles and laughter to tears mixed with sometimes pain, but always joy.

And then Santa comes! Who could believe it! Santa has come to the hospital with Mrs. Claus to see them! They get to sit on his lap and take pictures, just like they would if they could be home, during traditional visits at malls. They can still tell Santa what they want for Christmas … he knows, and he will not forget them, just because they may be in the hospital.

What a day! What an experience! What generosity and spirit of giving! We are enormously grateful for all that your family does for our family here at Cohens. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

With warmest appreciation and affection,

Cindy Rodriguez, MSEd, CCLS
Director, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program