Celebrating Christmas at the Providence Child Center

December 23, 2022 Providence Health Team


In this article:

  • Families of children with disabilities receive elite care at the Providence Child Center – and a visit with Santa.

  • The Providence Child Center is a unique facility and leader in caring for children with disabilities in Oregon.

  • Your gift to the Providence Children’s Health Foundation can help support the thousands of children every year who receive care at the Providence Child Center.

The holidays are a time for joy and hope. For families of children with disabilities, this time of year brings a chance to wish for a better world for these incredible children to live in – though many of these children might still ask for toys and games!

“I would ask Santa for my kids to grow up in a world where who they are is enough,” says Amy Ottaway, whose son, Dylan, receives care at the Providence Child Center.

One in five children in Oregon has a special need. The Providence Child Center is here to provide care for these incredible kids, and the Providence Children’s Health Foundation exists to support the center and ease the financial burdens on families of children with disabilities.

Bringing Christmas to the Providence Child Center

The Providence Child Center is a place where children can come and be themselves without judgment.

“They get to shine in what they’re good at and they get to work through things that are challenging in a safe place,” says Cara Lee, therapy supervisor and occupational therapist at the Providence Child Center.

This goal shines through in Providence’s care. “He’s not seen as different,” says Debbie Elye of her son, Riley. “He’s just another awesome kid that just requires a little extra help here and there.”

That care and support is amplified at Christmas when Santa pays a visit to the children and families the center serves. 

The Providence Child Center supports children and families with services including:

  • Caregiver training
  • Resource materials
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Specialty pediatrics
  • Therapeutic recreation
  • Treatment of developmental concerns

“I can focus on being a family,” says Jeremy Suess, Evelyn’s father. “I don’t think anyone recognizes how important that is until it’s taken from them. Providence gave that back.”

What we’re asking Santa for this year

The parents of these children recognize how incredible they are and what a gift they are just for being themselves. Here are some of the things these parents wished for this year:

  • “I want Evelyn to know she has shown us a new way to love, and you can’t buy that,” Jeremy says. “That’s something we would never have had without her.”
  • “One big wish for me is for them [children] to be included and have the acceptance of the community,” says Mimi Orozco-Caravantes, outreach and community resource specialist at the Providence Child Center and sister of Genesis and Oneidia, who both receive care at the center. “I also want others to be more knowledgeable about these kids and how lovable they are.”
  • “I wish people asked more questions to get to know Nolan,” says Amy Horton, Nolan’s mother. “And I wish they could see past the wheelchair or that he might look or sound different than other kids and see that he’s a part of our society too. He’s my son, he’s a brother. We love him just as much and we care for him just as much.”

Support children in your community for the holidays

Your gift can go a long way in supporting the thousands of children who receive care at the Providence Child Center. These donations to the Providence Children’s Health Foundation bring needed programs and services that support better health care for our youngest patients.

Your donation can go to different areas, including:

You can also donate to support the area of greatest need.

Find a doctor

Your provider can connect you to care and treatments that can improve your quality of life. If you are looking for a primary care provider, you can search for one who’s right for you in our provider directory.

Download the Providence App

We’re with you, wherever you are. Make Providence’s app your personalized connection to your health. Schedule appointments, conduct virtual visits, message your doctor, view your health records and more. Learn more and download the app.

Related resources 

Learn more about the Providence Children’s Health Foundation

Teens shine spotlight on mental health awareness

All is calm, all is bright: Providence Christmas in the Forest 2022


This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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