WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Not everyone can make it home for the holidays, so students from Palm Beach Central High School stepped in to provide comfort and joy to dozens of hospital patients.
The high school’s Key Club dedicated Christmas morning to spread holiday cheer around St. Mary’s Medical Center.
The Key Club collects blankets from the student body in the weeks leading up to winter break. The donations go directly to adult patients and new parents who have to spend their holiday in the hospital.
With nearly 100 blankets to distribute, students have called on Santa to help carry out their mission. Every year Richard Hudson steps in to play the part. Dressed up in a red velveteen suit and black boots, he goes room-to-room to wish patients and their families a Merry Christmas.
Hudson started this tradition at St. Mary’s nine years ago as a community service project with his daughter who was a high school junior at the time.
“In college he was hospitalized during Thanksgiving and he remembered how awful it was to be in the hospital. My favorite part are the nurses. They are really awesome men and women who wake up on Christmas morning and help heal,” Malory Hudson said.
Richard Hudson’s words of encouragement left a lasting impression over the years. He recently reconnected with a man who still had the Christmas blanket he received a few years ago.