Making Spirits Bright

SVMC and FCC team up for Tree of Angels to help families in need.

For the 13th year, Sierra View Medical Center’s Tree of Angels has dedicated countless hours, ensuring all families from the Porterville community have a wonderful Christmas holiday.

Over 100 families were adopted by hospital staff, helping over 400 local children by donating money, time and talents.

Tracy Canales, SVMC Vice President of Human Resources has been part of the Tree of Angels for the past 7 years.

“I absolutely love it,” said Canales. “It just gives me so much joy, and I look forward to it every single year. Just the gratification of seeing the appreciation and seeing our community come together for such a great cause and that it remains local.”

The Family Crisis Center (FCC) has been SVMC’s partner for many years. FCC assists SVMC by working with local school districts and their social workers to identify families in need as well as local families in need throughout the community.

“It was just a need, and from there it has really grown and evolved,” added Canales. “Before we just had the distributions all at the hospital, but we thought that partnering with FCC just made sense. It’s gone from just the SVMC to using all of our resources to try to reach as many families possible.”

All nominated families get adopted by SVMC staff from all departments to fulfill their holiday wishes.

In addition, Sierra View collects hygiene products for the families in need. SVMC brought in over 3,000 products like socks, tooth brushes, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, diapers and first aid kits just to name a few. This was done through a hygiene drive — a friendly competition amongst departments and Materials Management Department securing donations from vendors who partner with SVMC.

Adopted families also received gift cards from Spoons, Black Bear Diner and a voucher from Town and Country Market.

Friday morning extending through the afternoon, SVMC employees appeared at the FCC office on Main Street in Porterville with Santa Claus for the gift distribution, and for families to meet and pose for a photo opportunity.

Norma Carvajal was one of the nominees to receive presents this year, and she was very thankful for all that FFC and SVMC have done for her this season.

“I think it’s a great program because we all have hard times,” said Carvajal. “This program has made sure my family gets presents, and I really appreciate it.”

Along with Carvajal, Daniel Carvajal was also gifted a present.

“Not a lot of people can afford Christmas presents, or the things that they want or need,” added Daniel. “There are things parents can’t get it for their kids, and this is a really great cause.”

Deisy Perez was also carrying a gift box, along with a smile from cheek to cheek.

“I think that it is really great that they want to help people that don’t have a lot of money for the holidays,” said Perez.

SVMC’s Board of Directors were very supportive, and donated $20,000 to the program this year. The Sierra View District Hospital Volunteer League donated $1,000, and 151 blankets were also donated to gift to families.

The SVMC board and Volunteer League would like to thank all of the staff that assisted the local families by donating money, time, gifts and talents, and they also wish to thanks FCC for working with the school districts and their social workers to identify families in need, as well as local families in throughout the community.

Thanks to the local partners like Town and Country, Black Bear Diner, Spoons Frozen Yogurt and Shropshire Trucking, the Tree of Angels is possible.

“It just has been a great partnership that has evolved,” said Canales. “We will continue to have this amazing program for many years, and we want to be aligned with our mission with the FCC to distribute presents to the kids and the parents and make sure Santa is here for a photo opportunity.”