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Marian Regional Medical Center nurses are doing more than just saving lives this holiday season. They are ensuring less-fortunate families have a gift to unwrap under the tree.

Through nonprofit Child Abuse Listening and Mediation's annual Adopt-a-Family event, 18 nurses donated around 50 presents to two North County families in need. 

The nurses finished wrapping the gifts and delivered them to CALM, a child abuse treatment and prevention organization, on Monday afternoon.

"To have the nurses do this when they're already doing so much for our community is just incredible," said Sandra Fuhring, CALM North County development associate. 

Registered nurse Marla Gibson has been coordinating the event for the past three years and said the partnership with CALM is just another opportunity for the hospital staff to give back. 

"I think we just like to give," Gibson said. "We like to take care of people in all areas."

While the nurses are not given the families' personal or contact information due to privacy reasons, they have felt the gratitude of gift recipients from the stories CALM employees tell them.

One story, in particular, has stood out to Gibson over the years.

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She recalled being told about one of the gift recipient's reactions to new bikes that had been purchased for her family. 

"She had experienced tremendous hardships, and it was hard to break through her shell," Gibson explained. "But when she saw those gifts, she just bawled and explained that no one had ever done anything for her like that before.

"It makes us happy to hear," Gibson said. "We get excited." 

Jamie Guista covers education in Santa Maria and the Central Coast for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter @JamieGuista.

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