RUSVM Supports Local Children Through “Letter to Santa” Event

Jan 09, 2023
presents for local children

Over the 2022 holiday season, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (Ross Vet) students, faculty, and staff came together to continue a Ross Vet holiday tradition hosting Letter to Santa.

Letter to Santa was first introduced to the Ross Vet community in 2019 by Dr. Aline Bomfim Vieira, DVM, MSc, PhD, associate professor of veterinary physiology. The event invites children from underprivileged families throughout St. Kitts and Nevis to write a letter to Santa highlighting their good deeds and asking for their holiday wishes. Before the letters can reach Santa, they are intercepted by Ross Vet students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the Ross Vet community to fulfill the children’s wishes. Dr. Vieira and a team of volunteers then wrap and deliver the gifts and wishes in time for the holidays.

“This event helps make dreams come true,” said Dr. Vieira. “Thanks to the generosity of our Ross Vet Santas, we get to help underprivileged kids have what they wish, need, and deserve.”

Nearly 150 gifts were delivered to the children who participated in Letter to Santa 2022.


The event and support from the Ross Vet community has helped deliver brand new bikes, tablets, phones, headphones, clothing and all sorts of amazing toys and presents wrapped and delivered right to their doorstep. Among the recipients of gifts are children from St. Christopher Children’s Home, families assisted by Zakers Affinity Causes and St. Christopher Outreach Center, families from the Challengers community, and young mothers and their babies assisted by the Ministry of Gender Affairs. Since 2019, nearly 500 gifts have been given out to kids from all over St. Kitts and Nevis.

Special thanks to the volunteers who helped organize, wrap, and deliver wishes and host the event with Dr. Vieira, including Dr. Sarah Cavanaugh, DVM ’05, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology), associate professor of small animal medicine, Venetta Zakers, administrative coordinator and founder of Zakers Affinity Causes, and student volunteers Jasmine Gallegos, Marina Viñuela, Kyle Waltenberg-O’Brien, Becca Zayas, Taylor Truong, from The Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment (VOICE) and Kathryn Snyder from Christian Veterinary Fellowship.

To learn how you can be a part of the Ross Vet community on your journey toward achieving your goals in veterinary medicine, reach out for more information here.

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