FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Young patients at Valley Children's were greeted with stuffed toy puppies and electronic tablets Tuesday thanks to a generous donation by Amazon.
"Support from all across the Valley, investing here in our community that we live and work in and happy to bring home Christmas for the kids at Valley Children's," says Chad Reeder with Amazon.
Santa's surprise visit was meant to lift spirits and deliver smiles to patients this holiday season.
Team members from local Amazon fulfillment centers helped Saint Nick distribute the toys to more than 200 kids.
A $100,000 check was also presented to the hospital's Angel Fund, which helps ease the financial burden famiies may face as their children go through medical treatment.
"Things that we take for granted that really prevent some families that just can't afford to get here, they have to take off of work and bills start to pile up," says Rob Saroyan, President of Valley Children's Healthcare Foundation. "Our real objective with this program to have families next to their loved ones in the hospital."
Saroyan says Amazon's stepped up effort is more than just a financial boost to the hospital
"It inspires our families, in particular our patients, and it makes a big difference in how they recover when they see the happy faces come support them," he said.
Due to the pandemic, this was the first holiday season in three years that the hospital was able to host patient visits with Santa in-person.