L3 and L4 Students “Adopt a Family”

Antonia Traina (Medical student)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” The classic song begins to play, and with the smell of pine and mistletoe in the air, we can be certain the holiday season is upon us. Our hearts are overjoyed, as we fill those “wish” lists with gifts for family and friends and await the long-anticipated Christmas morning.

But what if this wasn’t the case? What if the holiday season was not a time of joy and blessings, but instead a time of hopelessness and despair? Imagine a single mother whose only wish is to give to her young children, but she is burdened with three jobs that still don’t pay the bills. Picture a pair of siblings separated from their mother by immigration and forced to live with their single uncle this holiday season.

Once again, Catholic Charities of New Orleans and LSU School ofMedicine Classes of 2019 and 2020 have partnered to bring joy to this familieswho would otherwise go without. Through the Adopt a Family program, the two classes pulled together to raise money and fulfill the wish lists of eight New Orleans families in need.  It is a tradition that was started four years ago and has been successful ever since.

Last year Catholic Charities, with the help of many local organizations, was able to give food and gift baskets to over 1,300 New Orleans individuals in need. For most who participate in this service project, it is hard to imagine a holiday season without the love and warmth of family and friends. We travel far and wide, enjoying the gifts that we have been given, cherishing the moments we have together, and making sure our holidays are everything we wished for. 

As medical students, we serve as a unique part of the patientcare team within the hospital. Most of the time, we get to know our patients in ways that other members of the team do not. We develop a personal connection and discover aspects of their personal lives that may have otherwise gone unknown. It is because of this personal relationship with our patients that helping others remains of utmost importance. With the season of giving approaching, the class of 2019 and 2020 has made every effort to give back to the community that we serve. Through the fulfillment of wish lists and desire to support the NewOrleans community, it is our hope that we can make each of these families’ holidays merry and bright.