LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the Editor:
Everyone gets at least one gift at Christmas, don’t they? Working with the elderly can be an eye opener. Some are considered “orphans,” receiving no guests, no cards and no presents to mark the holiday. As our staff considered this, we began to think about how we could impact the loneliness they may be feeling at this time.
Our plan was named “Be a Santa to a Senior,” or BASTAS.
We obtained permission from two or three locations to place Christmas trees, on which we hung tags with the first name of a potential recipient and one or two things they wanted to ask “Santa” for. Boscov’s, Parkland Restaurant and the Superior Diner most recently displayed the trees. Passing shoppers took the tags and returned with the unwrapped gifts.
Meanwhile, our agency gathered lists of names from places such as the Area Agency on Aging, Meals on Wheels, Gross Towers, B’nai B’rith and the Episcopal House, and just after Thanksgiving, we began to collect the gifts. A wrapping party was scheduled, and our caregivers gathered to wrap the gifts we had received.
Nearly 300 — yes, 300! — gifts had been donated. We delivered the gifts to the agencies, where they were greeted with much enthusiasm and appreciation.
Through this experience, we are reminded that it is better to give than to receive.
Andrea Rourke Olmsted, MSW
Home care consultant
Home Instead Senior Care