Dec. 24—Residents at Golden LivingCenter's Sycamore Village were treated to some early Christmas gifts, thanks to the generosity of the Northwestern school community.
Middle school teacher Jennifer Bowen and a few students made a special delivery Tuesday afternoon to the nursing home on Sycamore Street. Students unloaded a bus filled with presents and placed them under the Christmas tree in the lobby.
For the past eight years, middle school students, teachers and parents at Northwestern have purchased Christmas gifts for nursing home patients. It's similar to an Angel Tree, but instead of the names of children, the tags are for senior citizens.
Bowen got the idea from her sister, who did a similar give-back project in Valparaiso.
"I thought it would be a great thing for Northwestern," she said. "It just took off from there."
The tags on the elder Angel Tree go fast.
"We always have more people who want to buy than they have residents," Bowen said.
The school community bought gifts for 60 residents this year.
Brian Simmons, activities director at Sycamore Village, said residents were ready to fill out their Christmas lists. For some, the donations by Northwestern is all they will receive this year.
Residents asked for pop, snacks, soap, shampoo, lotion and Disney-themed items. A Buckeyes fan asked for an Ohio State sweatshirt.
"It means the world to them, absolutely," Simmons said.
Extra monetary donations went toward an assortment of items and games for the residents.
Gifts were distributed during the nursing home's Christmas party on Tuesday.
"You don't know how much this means to the residents," Simmons told the kids as they headed back to the bus.
Spencer Durham can be reached at 765-454-8598, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @Durham_KT.