To welcome in the holidays, Sanford Health Bismarck provided holiday parties for 600 second-grade students in the Bismarck-Mandan community of North Dakota.
The number of participants is up from 400 students in 2021 and is the first year Mandan Public Schools Foundation was made a part of the Sanford Cares program.
“The holidays can be very stressful for families,” said Janelle Heinsohn, community relations coordinator for Mandan Public School District and development director for the Mandan Public School Foundation for Education. “It’s an expensive time of year, and to be able to receive a community gift like this that has grocery vouchers and essential items to keep kids warm, but also some great things that are just fun for kids as well, I just think will be a wonderful gift for them.”
The holiday parties welcomed students to take part in Sanford Sports activities, tasty treats and photos with Santa. Each student received a special backpack filled with community and Sanford-sponsored winter items, a grocery voucher and toys.
The backpacks came in all designs which the kids were able to choose from. One second grader said she liked her backpack because it had flowers and would enjoy cuddling up with her new stuffed dog.
“These gifts bring so much joy and comfort to students and families during the holiday season,” said Weston Dressler, senior community relations specialist at Sanford Health. “Having everyone involved, it’s not just about Sanford going out and doing something. It’s about people working together and coming together around the holidays and giving back to our community.”
The Sanford Cares program has been serving Title 1 schools in the area since 2019.
Help Sanford Health spread cheer this holiday season by becoming a sponsor or making a donation. Complete your sponsorship or donation online or contact Weston Dressler at (701) 323-5762.
“I think that anybody who would want to donate and be a part of the Sanford Cares program would just be contributing to the magic of Christmas for kids,” said Heinsohn. “Everyone likes Christmas, but kids especially just have such a special time around this holiday season, and I think they would definitely enjoy being part of that magic.”
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