Children in Hospice Receive the Gift of Holiday Cheer Thanks to the Pediatric Elf Squad

Clifton, VA, December 2021 — Embrace the holiday spirit with the Pediatric Elf Squad, sponsored by Capital Caring Health in Northern Virginia. On Dec. 2 we will load and unload the bounty of gifts, and on Dec. 4 hospice volunteers will wrap and deliver hundreds of gifts to children facing a life-limiting prognosis.

“All gifts were donated by the community and are sitting in my basement ready to be transferred to the children,” says Katherine Knoble, Community and Volunteer Manager of the Pediatric Elf Squad. “Although we can’t change the prognosis for these children, it is an honor to bring holiday cheer to their families.”

Katherine says her basement is currently overflowing with gifts, and a team is ready to mobilize dressed in Santa and elf suits, and as Disney princesses, to spread the joy. “Each volunteer who participates in the project represents all that is good in the world. We need more of that!”

Tara Hoit, executive director of Capital Caring Kids, says: “The Elf Squad is creating meaning for children in their final weeks, days, and hours. This activity not only brings joy in a time of these families’ lives when it’s hard to find — it extends the capacity of our core team, bolstering our hearts too. Selfless volunteers are showing children and their families they are cared for in a very personal way. This project represents people showing up with big hearts, demonstrating what is so good in our world.”

Gifts will be prepared and delivered: December 2-4, 2021

  • Dec. 2, 9am:
    • Load gifts into moving truck (provided by MY GUYS) — 13954 Marblestone Drive Clifton VA 20124
    • Unload donations to the staging area — Capital Caring Health Adler Center, 24419 Millstream Drive, Aldie VA 20105
  • Dec. 4, 10am-1pm: The Pediatric Elf Squad will wrap each gift, stuff stockings that are embroidered with each child’s name, and begin deliveries — Capital Caring Health Adler Center, 24419 Millstream Drive, Aldie VA 20105

Special thanks to our generous donors: Katherine and Tara note that each child’s gift was specially selected by social workers and purchased by caring community members. They give thanks to the leaders at My Guys Moving, who are donating their services to transport the gifts in style, and Matt Murrell of Five Guys for his generous donation to help our hospice children.

We also extend thanks to our volunteers, including: 

Pediatric Volunteer Laurie Manning: “Katherine and I started talking about the Capital Caring Kids Pediatric Elf Squad in July after we had completed some pretty spectacular deliveries for the children for Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.  The Pediatric Elf Squad has exceeded our wildest expectations, which were a bit over the top from the beginning. It has also set the bar higher for our future projects for these deserving families. Volunteering with Capital Caring Kids has provided me with an incredible amount of pleasure. It has also provided me with the opportunity to dress up in my endless collection of costumes for our Birthday Brigade! To witness the joy from the families is very heartwarming.”

Pediatric Volunteer Joanne Canellos: “I began volunteering with Capital Caring in 2018, giving back in honor of my dad, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 1992. I have also been a substitute teacher for several years, and when I heard of the pediatric elf squad, I wanted to use my experience in both areas to help! Knowing it’s a growing unit within Capital Caring Health also gave me the motivation to join. It has been heartwarming to reach out to the community and see how many people are happy to help bring a little joy to these families during this difficult time in their lives. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and have enjoyed working with so many wonderful and caring people!”

For more information for reporters about covering this beautiful holiday story: Contact Katherine Knoble by cell phone at 703-309-0289 or email

Please note: Volunteers are welcome to reach out, knowing that becoming a hospice volunteer requires 32 hours of training, background checks, TB and COVID vaccinations, and several references. Please do apply!

About Capital Caring Kids: One of the first and largest non-profit hospice and progressive illness organizations in the United States, Capital Caring Health and Capital Caring Kids provide care to more than 3,000 patients every day. Patients and families affected by advanced illness receive all the care services they need, regardless of ability to pay.

“Every child is precious, and every moment with them matters,” says Tara Hoit, Executive Director of Capital Caring Kids. “At Capital Caring Kids, we serve children from infants to young adults who are facing chronic, life-limiting medical conditions. We recognize that children and teens require a specially tailored approach with compassionate, nurturing support.”

As a non-profit, Capital Caring Health is proud of providing $3 million annually in inpatient care services to families without coverage or financial means to pay for the care they need. Capital Caring Health spends nearly 90 cents of every dollar raised directly on patient care and family support. Learn more at