For the media

Santa's Korner spreads holiday cheer to families in need

By The Health News Team | December 15, 2023
Sharp Grossmont employees volunteering at the Santa's Korner event

From toys to clothes, Sharp Grossmont employees provide local families with items they struggle to afford on their own.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital employees are bringing the magic of the holidays to local families in need through Santa’s Korner. Now in its 37th year, the hospital’s annual gift drive encourages departments to "adopt" a family and provide them with items they might struggle to afford on their own. 

“The generosity is so overwhelming every year,” says Ryan Purdy, community relations manager at the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Community Resource Center. “We always look forward to this event. It’s a way for us to give back, but also to stay connected with our community beyond the walls of the hospital.”

Sharp Grossmont Hospital collaborates with local East County agencies to select families and coordinate deliveries. This year, 41 families were adopted, each providing wish lists for departments to choose from. 

“We collect toys, household goods and lots of clothes,” Purdy says. “What makes the program so special is that everything is tailored to that exact family.”

A labor of love

Sara Schaeffer, a lead clinical nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Women & Newborns, says the family her team “adopted” asked for gift cards, warm clothes, blankets for their newborn baby and a tricycle for their daughter, age 3. Sharp Grossmont employees don’t typically get to meet the families they are gifting to, but Schaeffer says her team is glad to have the opportunity to make a difference.

“There are times in our lives when we must rely on others to get us through,” Schaeffer says. “In our unit, we are blessed to have each other to lean on for emotional support. We’re excited to help a family in need of some Christmas magic to brighten up their holidays.”

Some departments plan and fundraise early in anticipation of Santa’s Korner. The Supply Distribution Department, which is responsible for maintaining central storeroom supplies and equipment at Sharp Grossmont, holds an annual Halloween bake sale to raise money for gifts. This year, the team raised more than $500.

“We have some amazing people who support the Santa’s Korner event,” says Marcus Garcia, a supervisor with Supply Distribution. “They do a great job making delicious treats for the bake sale and put a lot of thought and time into shopping for the gifts. It really is a labor of love to support our community.”

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For the news media: To talk with Ryan Purdy about Santa’s Korner, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at


Ryan Purdy


Ryan Purdy is the community relations manager at the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Community Resource Center.


Sara Schaeffer


Sara Schaeffer is a lead clinical nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Women & Newborns.


Marcus Garcia


Marcus Garcia is a supervisor with Supply Distribution at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

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