At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we’re in the business of helping kids get back to being kids. During the holidays, a big part of being a kid is celebrating and believing in the magic of the season. We strive for all of our kids to enjoy the season at home with their families, but, for those who have to be in the hospital, it’s our job to make the time as special as possible.
Earlier this year, an undercover Children’s team held a brainstorm meeting: What could we do to make our patients’ days a little brighter during the holidays? Our team tossed around a lot of good ideas, but the one that really stuck was a surprise snowfall just for our kids. I raised my three kids here in Atlanta, and I can count on one hand how many times they had the chance to catch snowflakes in our yard. Because we rarely drive in it or shovel it, snow falling in the South is a magical sight.
When Children’s decides to do something, we go all in. So, 31 gallons of “snow” and 31 carefully placed machines later, it snowed for an hour at all three of our hospital campuses. The adults knew better. It was 57 degrees and not a single forecast mentioned even a slight chance of snow, but they, too, flocked to the windows and hurried downstairs as rumors passed through each unit.
The goal was for our patients to forget about their struggles—even if just for a few moments—and get back to being just kids. Three flurries, two snow angels and at least one snowball fight later … mission accomplished.