NewsPinellas County


Hospital worker helps kids, parents at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital enjoy the holidays

She helps with free shopping sprees, Santa visits
Kendall Williams.JPG
Posted at 5:31 AM, Dec 08, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kendall Williams is good at Christmas.

She starts catching yuletide fever in the fall. She sports a headband with bouncing Santas. "Oh, I love it," she smiles.

Kendall is a school teacher at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. She helps keep kids on track with their studies.

This time of year, though, her teaching material takes on a festive flair. While reading with a young patient named Ryan, she uses colorful books featuring reindeer and Christmas trees and lights.

"Santa is ready to go!" Ryan proudly reads.

"Good job!" says Kendall, pointing at a picture. "And look, all your favorite Christmas treats! Candy canes!"

Kendall is a constant bright beam of positivity.

"When I walk into a room, I want to be that big smile that lets them know it's okay," she says. "I want to make sure that they feel the spirit of the holiday."

Kendall's celebration of the season doesn't end there.

She also helps orchestrate a lovely program called the All Children's Wonderland, a free donations-based shopping spree for moms, dads and families who could use some help.

"For a lot of parents here, shopping is hard this time of year," she says.

Kendall says help is always needed stocking the Wonderland. Here are just a few ways people can lend a hand:

Wonderland Shopping List
Wonderland Donations
Wonderland Toy Drop-Off

Later this month, Kendall will also orchestrate safe virtual visits from Santa. "He's as quick on Zoom as the rest of us now," she laughs.

Yes, she's busy. But she wouldn't have it any other way.

"There's so many days, when you feel a little down, because of all the external things going on in the world around us. But when you walk into the rooms here, you realize there's so much more going on. And if those kids can smile and make the most if it, we can absolutely do the same."