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Lourdes Hospital Brightens Christmas for Familes in Need

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By Kerry Longobucco.
A holiday celebration is a treat no family should have to go without. This year, more than 85 local families won't have to -- thanks to Lourdes Hospital's Christmas Mission Project.

During the fall, staff members at Lourdes began identifying families in need across Broome and Tioga counties. Then, each hospital department 'adopted' a family.

Lourdes staff members buy gifts and gift cards -- to make sure each family has the perfect holiday meal on the table, and Christmas gifts under the tree.

On Thursday afternoon, emotions ran high -- not only for the families coming to claim their gifts, but also, for those doing the giving.

"It's amazing. We've had, people hug us. We've had people that cry. We cry," Kathy Cramer, community relations manager at Lourdes Hospital, said. "It's just very heartwarming. It might sound cliche, but it really is the reason for this season."

The Lourdes Christmas Mission Project has been running more than twenty years.

Cramer says staff makes sure to select new families each year -- so that as many local people can benefit as possible.