Pictured above are members of the Family Support team during the 2019 Holiday Wishlist Drive.

Did you know that every year Communitas partners with a variety of agencies and private donors to support over 20 families for the holiday gift-giving season? The person supported (usually a person under 18) gets gifts of their choice and their siblings and parents get gifts as well. For the second year in a row, Family Support Coordinator Soon Young Cho agreed to be the Wishlist Coordinator, and this year she is joined by Holiday Elf Jess Talbot (also a Family Support Coordinator!)

Harvard Pilgrim, Hallmark Health Staff and private donors select the gifts based on a Wishlist completed by the family and the person supported. Donors then deliver the gifts to our Family Resource Center where the Wishlist Coordinator and the Holiday Elf will double check to make sure everything is in order and that nothing was forgotten.

Once everything is received, checked, and organized – the Family Support Coordinator that works with each family will deliver the gifts! If families prefer, there are also two designated times for families to come pick up the gifts.

The Communitas Holiday Drive began more than 20 years ago with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Hallmark Health joined the program 10 years ago. Paula Thompson, Program Specialist, said that this project is a lot of work for the Family Support Coordinators, but they all really enjoy it. Director of Family Support Judy SantaMaria reminisced about the first time she went to the HPHC offices to pick up the holiday donations. She was a Family Coordinator back then, and it was snowing that day when she arrived to find the HPHC loading dock filled with gifts!

“It was overwhelming in the most wonderful way,” said Judy.

Fun fact: Governor Charlie Baker used to adopt a Communitas family, back when he worked at Harvard Pilgrim!

Paula said, “If someone wants to donate, they can email Soon Young, we may have already assigned the families with whom we have wish list for.” Holiday Wishlist must be received by 11/29, and Soon Young can be reached by emailing .