Nearly 600 children receive gifts as Spartanburg Regional’s Pediatric Rehabilitation transforms into winter wonderland
Nearly 600 neatly wrapped Christmas presents were handed out to children of all ages at Spartanburg Regional Pediatric Rehabilitation, an area of Spartanburg Medical Center that transforms into a winter wonderland this time of year.
Now in its 25th year, the Judy Bradshaw Pediatric Rehab Fund has provided the resources for Pediatric Rehabilitation to host a week of Christmas festivities in December complete with holiday treats, decorations, pictures with Santa and a cornucopia of gifts.
Philanthropists Charlie and Judy Bradshaw’s generosity has benefited thousands of children throughout the years.
Children and their parents came one-by-one throughout the week of Dec. 4 to receive a special gift, from dart boards to toy banjos to stick horses and everything in between that can aid each child in their developmental skills.
“Judy Bradshaw believed that giving to others was a reflection of the Lord. She gave out of her faith,” said Pediatric Rehab Manager Sharon Caston. “The parents of children who have delays, they make sacrifices for their children. This is a way to say thanks for all they do. The program belongs to this community so the work we do here improves our whole community.”
Charlie and Judy Bradshaw both passed away earlier this year, making this year’s Christmas party the first without a visit from the Bradshaws. Before the party, Bradshaw’s children paid a visit to Pediatric Rehab to see where their parents had devoted so much of their affections toward.
“I told them that their parents were a good example of Christ, who looked upon the multitudes and had compassion,” said Carlos Fonte, an occupational therapist at Pediatric Rehab, referencing Matthew 9:36 from the Bible.
Among the joy and fun of children picking up presents, shoveling pretend snow and playing a winter-themed cornhole game, one boy was shedding tears in a bittersweet moment.
Carter Bennett, 7, was not only picking up a Christmas present that day, but he was graduating from the Pediatric Rehabilitation program where he had been weekly since he was 18 months old for speech therapy.
His therapist, Terria Miller, and mother, Tabitha Bennett, shared a tearful hug goodbye outside of the Christmas party.
“Terria has been a godsend. She diagnosed him, and she helped us get him his IEP (individualized education plan),” Tabitha Bennett said. “If we didn’t have her every week with his individual attention he would not be where he is today. And I feel like it’s all because of her.”
Terria Miller was speechless as Tabitha Bennett gave her a gift to thank her.
“I know it’s sad to leave but this is a day to celebrate, and it’s not goodbye, you can always come and see me anytime,” Miller told Carter as he climbed into his mother’s minivan.
Caston said the therapists love what they do and often form meaningful relationships with the patients and their families.
“He’s been like family to me,” Terria Miller said.
If you would like to learn more or donate to Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s Bradshaw Pediatric Rehab Fund, visit https://www.regionalfoundation.com/ways-give/patients-need.