NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Chanukah is one of the most joyous and awaited holidays on the calendar for Jewish children. Chai Lifeline, the international children's health support organization, made sure pediatric illness didn't stop any from having a time to remember.
In Baltimore, Chai Lifeline partygoers were joined by Governor Larry Hogan. The party was extra special for the Governor, who battled cancer while in office and still carries the "scar," a bald head.
"These children are inspiring," he marveled as he spoke to the youngsters and their parents. "They've gone through so much more than I."
In the greater New York area, holiday galas in Brooklyn and Rockland County, NY, and Lakewood, NJ drew thousands. Each gala event included children's games and activities, arts and crafts, concerts, festive meals, and of course, presents for both patients and their siblings.
Chai Lifeline's regional offices in Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, and Los Angeles also held events that brought families together for laughter, friendship, and peer support. Around the world, Chai Lifeline affiliates in London, Belgium, and Israel also made sure that illness took a back seat to joy this holiday season.
"It's important to provide experiences and time where illness can recede and families can enjoy a day together," explained Rabbi Mordechai Gobioff, Chai Lifeline's director of client services. "This is particularly important when children are hospitalized, so our staff and volunteers around the world bring the holiday to them through cooperative ventures with hospitals around the world."
Rabbi Scholar estimates that Chai Lifeline's holiday effort, which began before the first candle was lit on December 6 and will continue for another week, will reach 50,000 children and adults impacted by illness or loss in their homes.
"Our mission is to enable children and their families to thrive through the pain, isolation, and hardship of illness. We gave 50,000 people the ability to do that this holiday season. It's the best present we could ever want."
Director of Communications
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SOURCE Chai Lifeline