nursing schoolEveryone has a wish list of gifts or goodies, or just everyday items to make life a little easier. For some families, checking off even one item from that list is difficult to do, especially during the holidays.

That’s where the WALD Center and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) step in.

Started in 1999 by former JHUSON administrative assistant Pat Blockston, the annual holiday gift effort by the school and the WALD Center provides gifts to those in need. The program supports mothers who worked their way through homelessness and are now in the process of moving into their own homes thanks to Lanvale Transitional Housing

Families are “adopted” annually by JHUSON staff or students who want to make Christmas wishes come true for parents and children.

This year, JHUSON Admissions Coordinator Sylvia Lee and Admissions Officer Jennifer Haire collected gifts for 15 families.

“It’s such a nice thing to see the smiles on the family’s faces,” said WALD Center Clinical Outreach Coordinator Linda Whitner. “It brings so much joy to see these families smile because of all the things they have gone through. It makes them feel good and makes us feel good.”

Having more than doubled the number of families who receive gifts each year, it’s safe to say the holiday campaign has become a successful School of Nursing tradition.

“I had hopes that we would continue on doing the work that we do for the families,” Whitner said. “And when you hold on to hope and hold on to faith, this is what comes out of it.”