The Marian Education Center at Franciscan Health Crown Point resembled Santa’s warehouse recently, as some 38 hospital departments purchased and donated gifts to the same number of families who are served by the St. Clare Health Clinic and its Prenatal Assistance program. The effort, which has been ongoing for about 17 years, makes Christmas brighter for those who otherwise might not be able to afford to purchase gifts. Departments are assigned families and in turn purchase gifts that match their needs.
Shown with just a portion of the donations, just prior to families arriving to pick them up, are, from left: Barb Anderson, hospital president and chief executive officer; Diane Jansen, St. Clare volunteer coordinator, and Crown Point High School sophomores and student volunteers, Allee Robertson, her twin sister, Kylee Robertson; and Nicole Pochron and her mother, Trish, who is Anderson’s administrative assistant. The clinic, which is under the auspices of the hospital, since 1996 has provided free primary health care and other services for Northwest Indiana residents who fall within established income guidelines, are uninsured and are not eligible for government assistance.
Donations may be brought to the clinic, 1121 S. Indiana Ave., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The Prenatal Assistance program is in need of diapers, formula, baby items and new or gently used clothing, sizes newborn through 3T. The program likewise provides free assistance to needy area residents. For more information, call Jansen at (219) 663-2160, ext. 263.