MILFORD, Del. - The holiday season marks the start of Bayhealth Hospital's 14th Annual Festival of Trees.

"It is a way that the community and the staff here at the hospital can give back to each other," says Jane Hewitt, Patient Advocate of Bayhealth Hospital.

Each department picks a theme and decorates a tree to be displayed in the lobby. The community comes in and buys raffle tickets to win one of the 104 trees.

The money goes to the employee assistance fund through the Bayhealth Foundation, which can be used to help a staff member in their time of need.

Hewitt describes a time the employee assistance fund was able to help an employee:

“She got to April and said 'Jane I don't have enough money for my heat. What am I going to do?' I said ‘Well did you apply for the employee assistance fund?’ She said “Oh I didn't even think about that.” So she applied, [and] they actually gave a check to her oil company, and filled up her tank for the rest of the year."

John Young, with Patient Advocacy at Bayhealth says, "It's a wonderful outreach between the hospital and the community. They come in, they forget why they're here. It’s  a wonderful experience to get caught up in the joy with them."

The trees are on display at Bayhealth at both Kent and Sussex County campuses. It costs $1 for one raffle ticket, or $5 for six tickets. Winners get to take home everything that comes with the tree. On December 21st at 12:30 p.m., Bayhealth will be announcing the winners of the raffle at both campuses.