Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

December 11, 2009

Seniors first

Santa's elves make early Christmas gift deliveries to local nursing home residents

The Pythian Sisters’ Senior Angel Elves delivered Christmas presents Thursday to residents at the Palo Pinto Nursing Center and Mineral Wells Nursing and Rehabilitation.

About a 100 gifts were delivered to residents at Palo Pinto Nursing Center Thursday morning and about the same number were planned for Mineral Wells Nursing and Rehab later Thursday, according to organizer Michelle Hanchey. Edna Pierce spent many hours over the last year making presents for the residents and has for many years.

Many women received colorful, hand-knit booties. Others received small hand-made baskets to hang on the front of their walkers.

Clara Smith said they try to provide a little Christmas to people who may rarely see family during the season.

Though they’d requested a head count several weeks earlier and prepared extra gifts, organizers found they were about 18 bags short Wednesday night after calling Palo Pinto Nursing Center to recheck their number, so they scrambled to fill the gap for the new residents.

Residents were given a pair of sweat pants, a sweat shirt and socks, some packaged in bright drawstring bags.

“Thank you very much, elves,” resident Lola Loftis said when she was handed a gift. “Y’all are a surprise.”

Loftis seemed to appreciate someone to talk to Thursday morning in her room at the end of the hall, telling visitors about her family.

Donna Cromer sat on the edge of the bed of resident Eloise Sellers and held her hand as they posed for a picture together.

The gift-givers also arrived just in time for 104-year-old Ada Jennings’ birthday party and delivered a Christmas present on her birthday.

Most recipients seemed appreciative of the Pythian Sister’s efforts to provide a small gift to the residents, even double checking appropriate clothing sizes.

Lela White and Debbie Johnson were sitting in their room watching television when a woman in reindeer antlers and a woman in a Santa hat dropped in and handed them each a brown bag with an early Christmas present.

“I can use those,” Johnson said as she pulled the socks out of her bag. “I sure did get a lot.”

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