Local AARP brings holiday cheer to shut-ins

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

For 8-10 years, Williston AARP has brought smiles to the residents at Williston Nursing and Rehab Center.


Mignon Craig said throughout the year, AARP members collect gifts and the week before Christmas bring them to display at the nursing home.

Thursday about 60 of those residents went on a shopping spree in the activity room–only no money was ever exchanged.

Residents are allowed to choose two gifts each from the hundreds of items showcased.

“They may choose one for themself,” Craig said, “or they can choose to give two gifts to someone else.”

Once selections are made, Santa’s Helpers, in the guise of AARP volunteers, take the gifts and wrap them. There are also Christmas cards for giving.

When the annual Christmas party is held in a few days, the residents receive their gifts to either unwrap and enjoy or to pass along to someone they care about.

For those who are shut-in during the season, it is a remarkable way to allow them to participate in the festivities and share the spirit of giving.

And the smiles given to AARP volunteers by the residents are gifts that last forever.