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Secret Santa for Seniors embodies the Christmas spirit

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“When people give, no matter how big or small, the spirit of Christmas grows”

Mary Gardner-Ruch

Last year at this time, Kelly Lewis-Smith, Health Care Worker at Manor Hills Assisted Living was collecting sweaters for seniors living in nursing homes and assisted living. 

This year, she has collected the names of elders without family and is looking for Secret Santas to provide them with gifts. Kelly has teamed up with The Wellsville Care Center and Manor Hills Assisted Living Facility to provide her with names of individuals who would benefit from this program.  She is also gathering the names of Seniors living alone in the community. Mama’s Smoking BBQ is a place to drop off names and a box is provided at the business.  

Envelopes with the elder’s name, likes, and interests are being provided so the gifts that they receive are personal.  Kelly shared that often the people she cares for receive a bottle of lotion or a rolled-up blanket.  Knowing a bit about the individual helps them receive gifts that make them feel valued and cared for. 

Pictured is 100-year-old, Mary Cooper, with Kelly.  When asked what her secret to longevity was, she replied, “Swimming in the Niagara River”!  Mary never dreamed that she would live so long.  When she was a child, Christmas was simple and mostly about family time. 

When Kelly is not working at Manor Hills, she volunteers at the Hart Comfort House. She lives in Wellsville with her husband, Jay Smith, and her two sons.  Her husband also volunteers at Manor Hills.

Kelly says, “When people give, no matter how big or small, the spirit of Christmas grows”.  She is hoping for a good response to her Secret Santa for Seniors Program.

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