UCLA Respiratory Therapy Team Offers Help During The Holidays

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013, 8:36:00 AM

Mirror Staff

UCLA respiratory therapy team at last year’s holiday picnic.
Courtesy Photo
UCLA respiratory therapy team at last year’s holiday picnic.

Two

employees of UCLA’s Respiratory Therapy Department crocheted more than

20 stocking caps that they and other

staffers plan to give away at the department’s annual “Picnic With

Friends” holiday event at Palisades Park in Santa Monica on Wednesday.

For

the past several years, the respiratory therapy department has hosted a

holiday picnic to give needy men,

women and children food, warm clothing and blankets.

Last year,

employees gave away about 100 homemade turkey and ham sandwiches, about

100 blankets and dozens of gloves, socks and caps. This year, they gave away a similar number of items, plus a

supply of homemade hats.

“It’s

one way of helping people get warm and get some food in their bellies,

even if it’s just for one day,”

says Jeffrey Davis, director of Respiratory Therapy at Ronald Reagan

UCLA Medical Center. “It’s our way of giving back to the less fortunate

in our community.”

The picnic started at 8 am

and ended a few hours later when supplies ran out. Last year, the staff

pooled

together money on the spot to purchase toys for a young girl and her

mother who had been living on the streets for two weeks. They also

provided healthcare referrals to a man with a leg infection.

Employees

in the UCLA respiratory therapy departments in Santa Monica and

Westwood raise money, purchase supplies,

collect donations and crochet or knit items for the event.

Respiratory

therapist Jocelyn Te and administrative assistant Michelle Jones started

crocheting hats for the event nearly a year ago and have been updating

co-workers on their progress ever since.

“They

both love to crochet and wanted to make something useful,” Davis says.

“They’ve been working on these hats all year and are looking

forward to giving people something handmade that will also keep their

ears and heads warm in the winter.”

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