Thursday, Nov. 15 2012 5:58PM
Santa needs gifts for nursing home residents in Lee’s Summit
By Russ Pulley
Be a Santa to a Senior is underway.
Collections are ongoing to provide presents for elderly people who otherwise might not get a Christmas gift.
It works like the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, but it’s for senior citizens, said Kim Davis, marketing manager of the Lee’s Summit franchise of Home Instead Senior Care which organizes the annual charity.
Last year the program provided gifts to 400 people in the Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs and Independence nursing homes, including Connie Rastberger, 80, of Independence who has lived at The Groves for five years.
She said a lot of residents don’t have family who come see them that often and they look forward to activities which includes them in the holiday season.
“I really, really did appreciate it,” Rastberger said. “Living in a nursing home you sometimes think you’re forgotten. It isn’t the gifts. It’s the idea somebody cares.”
Trees are located in the Living Stone in downtown Lee’s Summit and the Lee’s Summit Walmart.
Anyone who’d like to donate a gift merely needs to take an ornament off the tree which has initials of the recipient and a suggested gift. Just buy the gift and return it and the ornament to a store employee. For more information go to: www.beasantatoasenior.com.
Davis said the program works by getting a list of people unlikely to get a gift from social workers at eastern Jackson County nursing homes.
Volunteers provide, collect, wrap and deliver the gifts.
There will be a gift-wrapping party Nov. 28 at the Home Instead Senior Care office in Lee’s Summit, which is upstairs of the Living Stone, 231 SE Main Street.
Home Instead Senior Care provides non-medical services to help elderly clients stay in their homes, Davis said. “Anything they need to continue independent living,” she said. It could be getting rides to appointments, cooking or cleaning, or simple companionship.
Kris Kringle and helpers will deliver the gifts the week of December 10, Davis said.
“Even though we’re old, we still think about Santa,” Rastberger said.