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Mt. Pleasant seniors get gifts from local agency

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

Christmas became a little brighter recently for area seniors with help from officials of Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action.

Members of the organization, along with volunteers from the New Stanton Alliance Church, played Santa's elves the week before Christmas and brought gifts and holiday cheer to local seniors.

Melaney Hegyes, JCAFIA program director and site coordinator, said it was the first time the organization has brought gifts to recipients at Christmas.

The organization conducted a similar program for the first time on Mother's Day.

“This may be the only gift they get for the holiday and we want to show them our appreciation and bring them some joy for the holiday season,” Hegyes said.

Seniors were presented stockings stuffed with crossword books, snacks and candy provided by the Women's Leadership Council. They were also given walker bags which were handmade by the Scottdale-based Hearts and Hands Quilt Guild.

Many of the recipients who were visited by the group reside at the Ridgeview Apartments, Harmon House Care Center and Amber House at Harmon House Care Center in Mt. Pleasant.

Heidi Hartman, service coordinator at Ridgeview Apartments, said it is important for the seniors to have connection with the world outside of their complex.

“It's the people who stop in that make the difference in their lives, so people bringing in the stockings to the seniors was a wonderful reminder to them that people still care,” Hartman said.

Beth Noakes, class facilitator at the New Stanton Alliance Church, visited seniors at the facilities with her family along with the church's youth group leaders, Eric and Carrie Simpson, and the couple's family.

“(It was the) first year we helped, and it was really wonderful. It reminded us we have been very blessed in our lives,” Noakes said.

“Sometimes, with all the bows and packages, you forget there are people out there who will be alone for the holiday. One woman told us this will be the only gift she will get this year.”

Noakes said many of the residents were just happy to have visitors and enjoyed having someone with which to share their Christmas decorations.

“We will definitely volunteer again with them in the future because it just touched us so deeply,” she said.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.



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