Holiday Gifts for Low-income Seniors

Perhaps no one outgrows “stockings hung by the chimney with care” and “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” Assistance League® of Bend volunteers ensure that the holiday wishes of local seniors are fulfilled through their annual Secret Santa program.

Seniors at 17 long-term care facilities in Bend, La Pine, Redmond and Sisters will receive special holiday gifts, handpicked for them by their Secret Santa. Facility representatives speak with residents and obtain personalized gift requests, including size, color and interests. Many of the requests are touchingly simple — a plump pillow, a cozy blanket, warm socks in a favorite color, towels and underclothes. Others reflect long-held interests such as a book on military history, crossword puzzle books, love of animals — or a sweet tooth — chocolates and caramel corn. The volunteers enjoy hunting for the perfect gifts to brighten the holidays for the often-forgotten seniors. With the pandemic, some items, like sweat shirts and sweat pants, were hard to find last year as the country hunkered down at home. One volunteer shopper shared that “Even Amazon was out of all but a few small sizes in neon colors. This year, I’m doing my Secret Santa shopping early!”

The “Secret Santa Squad”, dressed in holiday colors and festive Santa hats, loaded up their “sleighs” yesterday and delivered the beautifully decorated packages to 341 seniors; just in time for Christmas. “The enthusiasm from both Assistance League of Bend members and our community volunteers will make a happy difference in the lives of seniors this year,” says Meredith Kellogg, Secret Santa program chair. “To be able to fulfill a request for something as simple as a pair of fuzzy slippers, new pajamas or a ‘really red’ lipstick reminds us that kindness is easy!” Click here to see the Secret Santas in action on KTVZ.

Contact Secret Santa at programs@assistanceleaguebend.org  or 541-389-2075, to learn more about the gift program.

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