Spreading smiles, good will and chocolates for Christmas
The warmth and cheer of Christmas spread through the JGH on Dec. 23, with a visit by 11 trainees from the Firefighters’ Academy in Mirabel. For several hours during the morning, they dropped into the Segal Cancer Centre and various other hospital units to hand out chocolates, cookies and toys to surprised and delighted patients, family members, visitors and staff.
The treats and gifts were generously donated by Regal Confection, a Canada-wide distributor based in Montreal, and Les Aliments Uni Midlon Foods, a food broker based in Saint-Laurent.
“It’s important for these trainees to understand that being a firefighter is not just about the physical side of the job,” said Marc-André Geoffrion, a firefighting instructor who helped organize the visit. “The essence of what they do is to help people, which also means providing emotional support. So it’s good for them to come into contact with people who may be experiencing hard times and need to have their spirits raised.”
The idea for the visit began with Larry Sidel, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the JGH Foundation, who was already acquainted with Mr. Geoffrion and asked him whether something could be arranged to brighten patients’ lives during the holiday season.
“We’re grateful to Regal Confections and Les Aliments Uni Midlon Foods for their generous and unique contribution,” Mr. Sidel said. “Thanks to them, the distribution of chocolates and cookies has become a welcome highlight during the Christmas season throughout the JGH for the past five years.
“When you come right down to it, the Foundation exists to make the lives of patients and their families easier and happier, and this was just another way to show them how much our hospital really cares.”