Santas, elves, and "reindeer" pet teams visit UNC Hospitals

On Dec. 20, six Santas, more than 30 elves, and 5 Tar Heal Paws “reindeer” pet teams -- all UNC Hospitals volunteers -- visited adult inpatients across all of UNC Hospitals.

Santas, elves, and "reindeer" pet teams visit UNC Hospitals click to enlarge Six Santas, more than 30 elves, and 5 Tar Heal Paws “reindeer” pet teams -- all UNC Hospitals volunteers -- visited adult inpatients across all of UNC Hospitals.
Santas, elves, and "reindeer" pet teams visit UNC Hospitals click to enlarge All six Santas at UNC Hospitals.

Our very own UNC Tar Heel Santa, Bob Hargraves, made rounds through the lobbies and outpatient clinics. Patients were greeted by caroling elves and holiday wishes from Santa and served hot chocolate and cider. The Tar Heal Paw pet teams brightened the days of many of our patients who often miss their own pets while away from home in the hospital. This is a signature program of the Volunteer Association and Volunteer Services Department, going back more than 25 years, and it brings great joy to many of our adult patients who enjoy a visit from Santa just as much as children do! The volunteer Santas, elves, and pet teams get as much out of the visits as the patients do. Many of our Santas and elves have been participating with the event for more than five years. 

In the Adult Infusion clinic, one of the caregivers of a patient visited by Santa was so appreciative of the visit that he sent Santa home with his very own handmade origami star ornament. Santa volunteer Hank Lewis later told volunteer services staff that he will always hang the star on his Christmas tree as a reminder of this act of kindness.  

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