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Hospital employees deliver gifts to more than 400 Cerritos Elementary students

Wayne Herron

Wayne Herron, left, vice president of philanthropy for the Glendale Memorial Health Foundation, passes out a gift bag to a first-grade Cerritos Elementary School student. About 400 students at the school were surprised with gifts from Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital employees.

(Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

About 400 students who attend Cerritos Elementary School were surprised Tuesday when each of them received a gift, resulting in some shocked looks and cheers.

“Each of you is so precious to us,” said Cassie McCarty, director of mission integration at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital.

Leading up to the gift delivery, hospital employees, including physicians, board members and staff as well as volunteers, bought a gift for each of the 409 students who attend Cerritos.

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Cerritos Elementary students open their gifts

Cerritos Elementary teacher Christine Martinez's first-grade students are all smiles after opening up their gifts, donated by Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital employees.

(Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Several of the hospital’s employees attended the assembly to watch the students receive their gifts.

“It means so much to our students to have that support from our hospital nearby,” said the school’s principal, Perla Chavez-Fritz. “It’s just such a great support to our families and students to have this day, and to know that there’s somebody out there that cares and that’s willing to provide for them a gift that’s more than just a gift — it’s an act of generosity and compassion.”

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Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan