"Be a Santa to a Senior" brings Christmas to the Ridgeland Nursing Home

RIDGELAND, Sc. (WSAV) - Christmas came early at the Ridgeland Nursing Home, but the presents weren't all from a Santa.

"There are so many wonderful organizations that take care of the kids, these people are kind of forgotten sometimes," said Sun City Resident Paula Hoffman.

You could call them the Sun City elves, residents of Okatie Village who adopted fellow seniors.

"Some of them don't have anybody, so we're their somebodies," Hoffman said.

"I got a gown, a workbook and pens," said Ruth Randal

"Hats, three hats, two shirts….. Merry Christmas to you," said Fred Cheeseboro.

"Oh I feel good," said Gertie Gray, "Listen to all the good music, I enjoy it."

It's all part of a program called "Be a Santa To a Senior" created by Home Instead Senior Care.

"We work with people like here at Ridgeland Nursing Home to get names of seniors, some of their wishes, and then we take those names and put them on a paper ornament," Rachel Carson, owner of Home Instead Senior Care said.

The paper ornaments are hung on a tree in various businesses in the Lowcountry and Savannah, people in the community can pick one, buy the gift and bring it back.

"We collect them and then we wrap them and then we have parties," Carson said.

The party at the Ridgeland Nursing Home Monday was hosted by the residents at Sun City. As part of the program, they adopted the nursing home four years ago.

"I got a baby bear, and a beautiful blanket," said Carolyn Gay, "And I love everybody honey."

The group spreading a little love and holiday cheer to those who are still kids at heart…

"They may not have family support or no one to give them Christmas presents," Carson said, "So that's what we do, is we give them Christmas."

This is the program's 11th year; they received 560 names. The presents have all been collected and will be delivered in the next couple weeks.

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