Sara Smith, Campbell Place resident care professional, helps to organize gifts for residents that were donated through the Adopt A Grandparent program prior to their distribution Christmas morning. (CAMPBELL PLACE PHOTO)
Good morning! Good news!
The 33 residents of Campbell Place Assisted Living Community in Bellefontaine received a heartfelt greeting from their community Christmas morning in the form of an abundance of thoughtful gifts through the center’s Adopt A Grandparent project this year, delivered during a special appearance by Santa Claus and his elves.
Hollie Pope, Campbell Place life enrichment coordinator, said the senior living facility received an overwhelming amount of local support for the new program, with presents overflowing in her office and into other areas of the 356 Kent Drive center following the donation deadline a few weeks before Christmas.
She was inspired to create the initiative this year after losing her own grandmother in the spring, and also as a result of the visitor restrictions placed on congregate living centers stemming from the pandemic.
“I lost my grandmother in April, and I’ve had this ache to want to buy Christmas presents for a grandparent,” she said. “So I thought of the Adopt A Grandparent program, where we could invite the community to be involved in buying gifts for each of the residents here.
“Our whole team got involved and shared the word via our Facebook page and other outlets. We wanted the residents here at Campbell Place to know that they are loved and cared about and to make Christmas special for them, at a time when they can’t visit with their loved ones in-person at Christmastime. We wanted it to still be a good Christmas for them.”
On Christmas morning, Pope said the facility’s maintenance employee Ray Seymore dressed as Santa Claus and Pope and other staff members dressed as elves to present the donated gifts carefully wrapped for each resident. The staff took photos of the residents to share with their family members since they couldn’t attend in person, and also hosted a festive spread of hot chocolate and cookies for the residents to partake.
Among the many gifts included snacks, games, chapstick, puzzle books, markers, lotion, socks, slippers and blankets and other cozy items. They also received personalized stockings that were custom-made for each of the 33 residents.
Another thoughtful gift that was donated for the residents to enjoy included a 40-pound bag of bird seed, bird feeders and shepherd’s hooks, which have already been installed just outside the center so that seniors can watch the birds’ activities out their windows.
The generosity of the community reflected the spirit of Christmas for everyone at Campbell Place, the life enrichment coordinator said.
“Our residents felt so blessed for Christmas with the gift bags that were just overflowing with gifts,” Pope said. “On our part, it’s so humbling and makes us so grateful for the community’s contributions to make this happen. It went well beyond our expectations.”