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Spread spirit of season to seniors
Nursing Home Christmas- with cup.jpg
“I am so thankful for everyone in the community who shows how much they care by donating these gifts to us for Christmas,” says James A. Baker, a resident at NHC. “It’s really a wonderful feeling.” Baker received a Southern Standard coffee mug and some candy canes on Tuesday. - photo by Atlanta Northcutt

Bring the gift of joy to the elderly residents of NHC and Raintree Manor to celebrate the holidays with presents, kindness and small acts of good.

Each year, the nursing homes work to fulfill wish lists from patients for personalized gifts. Once receiving the lists, several local businesses have angel trees to communicate the wishes of nursing home residents.

“This project always revives my faith in people. We see a lot of negative news on television. Seeing such positivity and care is refreshing,” says NHC activity director Amanda Sain. “This is a way for the community to come together, and there is no other community like ours when it comes to the support we receive.”

Once angel trees are set up, a name, age and wish will be displayed on the trees. 

Tuesday, Dec. 10 was the last day to choose an angel from the trees. Sain states most of the angels have been removed. However, for those interested in giving back to those not selected off the tree, donations and money are accepted throughout the year to fund Nursing Home Christmas and other events.

“People in the community want to perform acts of good and help someone, but they may not be able to afford a long list of things,” says Sain. “People looking to help are more likely to have the ability to purchase one smaller gift which adds up.”

“It’s like a dream that comes true to them. They never expect to get the things they do,” adds Raintree Manor activity director Carson Rust. “We tell them this community donated these items to make it possible for them to receive the presents.”

Nursing Home Christmas covers residents who didn’t receive the gifts requested on the angel trees. Radio station WBMC partners with the nursing homes to deliver the gifts to the patients. 

“This is such an important celebration,” adds Sain. “To see the residents light up is comparable to children on Christmas morning. They are thrilled and it’s wonderful to see their excitement.”

Thursday began NHC’s shopping venture to provide gifts to the angels who weren’t chosen off the trees. Between Monday, Dec. 16 and Thursday, Dec. 19 beginning at 2 p.m. each day, Santa Claus will visit NHC’s residents. Presents and refreshments will be available, and families are invited to come celebrate.

“We try to first cover the basic needs of residents, but we also try to work in some of the personal wants each individual has requested,” says Sain. “We like to make sure everyone has a wonderful Christmas, but especially those who have no family other than us.”

Cards, notes and drawings can be delivered to the front desk of NHC where they will be given to the patients. This is important to all of the residents, but especially those without family. Sain says meaningful and heartfelt gifts and kind words are the best.

“It’s truly priceless and feels good to help others,” adds Sain. “I believe it’s equally as important to the residents as much as those helping to give back.”