There are many wonderful causes the whole year through, but so many come closer to home around Christmas time. With an abundance of charities that do amazing work and provide much needed services to those who need them, there is never a shortage of ways and areas in which we can make a difference.
Each of us has certain things laid upon our hearts and I feel strongly that they are laid upon our hearts for a reason. If we follow our hearts and give where we are led to give, we can make a huge difference. Due to my upbringing, my abundance of wonderful grandparents, and my experience in Nursing Homes, I feel led to think of our elderly around Christmas time and have noticed a deficit in this area.
Senior Citizens are one of our greatest treasures! This is why I started adopting a nursing home a few years back and I’m hoping to branch out this year and adopt more than one nursing home, with a lofty goal of eventually being able to adopt every one in my area, making sure each resident has a wrapped gift on Christmas.
Here is how I do it followed by how you can help me:
How I adopt Nursing Homes
1. I contact a nursing home, ask to speak to the activities director, and let them know what I’d like to do.
2. Find out how many residents are in the home to make sure I have a gift for each and every one.
3. Buy Suave Body Wash – Start buying early because the stores need time to restock. Sometimes I have to go to several Wal Marts to get enough. Note: It generally costs me around $3.00 per person but that includes the body wash, wrapping, and cards if I include them.
4. Wrap each body wash individually in Christmas paper.
5. Deliver the body wash to the nursing home in time for Christmas(My favorite time is Christmas Eve) and leave it with the activities director (see notes as to why I leave it rather than pass it out)
Notes and further explanation:
Contacting the Nursing Home
It is very important to choose a nursing home ahead of time and contact the Activities Director. Let them know what you plan on doing and make sure it is welcome there (I’ve always had wonderful reception to the idea). Then, find out what the maximum capacity of their home is and how many patients they currently have. You want to make sure you have enough body wash to provide one to every single resident and if they are ten or so under capacity, go ahead and buy for the full capacity as they may have more residents by the time you deliver the gifts. If the nursing home has a great many residents and you are afraid you may not be able to afford to buy for each one, see if you have friends who would like to help.
Why I buy Suave Body Wash
There are so many different things nursing home residents can’t have for various reasons. So I called up a few nursing homes a couple of years back and spoke with the directors and found that body wash was a universal need and every resident needed it. Not only that, at the time the directors told me it was also something they always needed. I chose Suave because it is generally affordable, easy to find, and having all of the bottles be a uniform size really helps when you’re wrapping two or three hundred of them. I usually wait until my Mother in Law comes to visit for Christmas and then she and I wrap them together. One person can cut rectangles of wrapping paper while the other puts them around the bottle and tapes it closed. Doing this with a group of people is a great idea!
Note: Bottles of body wash are bad about opening up on ya, especially when you buy a hundred or so at a time. As you put them in your buggy, I recommend pushing down hard on each and every cap and if you are going to be transporting them more than once, you might want to place a single piece of tape over it to help the cap stay closed.
If anyone from Suave reads this, please feel free to send me a few cases (or a truck load) of body wash and I’ll be happy to wrap it up and adopt more nursing homes!
Is wrapping every one of them necessary?
For me, this is one of the absolute most important steps. Remember the wonder of receiving a gift wrapped in pretty Christmas paper and wondering what it is? I want every resident of the nursing homes I adopt to have at least one wrapped Christmas gift.
Dropping off Gifts versus Handing Them Out
This is another important step. When I was a teenager I used to volunteer in a nursing home. I’d go visit, talk with the residents, and just spend time with them. When Christmas rolled around I would have loved to have been able to give a gift to each one of them but at the time there just wasn’t any way I could afford to.
As I went to delver my gifts the first Christmas I adopted a nursing home, I had planned on handing them out myself. Upon walking in and seeing the sweet nurses and staff with their patients it just didn’t feel right for me, a stranger, to have the joy of giving a gift to these people that the staff cares for and loves every other day of the year. That is when I decided to double the gift, and let someone else have the joy of giving it. In doing this we are also taking away the “glory” of being thanked because we don’t do it for that purpose. We do it out of love for the people who need to be loved. Period. As far as I know, the nursing home I’ve adopted the past few Christmases still has no idea who is responsible for the gifts. They see me each year as I come in and hand off the gifts but I’ve never given my name.
Why this cause?
I believe we all have certain things laid on our hearts and this is something that has been laid on mine. You may feel led to support another cause or section of our little world and that is wonderful. If we each follow the cause that has been laid upon us, imagine the difference we could make!
*** I’d LOVE Your Help! ***
What Groups Can Participate?
ANYONE can participate. Even one bottle helps!
This project is also great for:
- School Groups
- College Clubs
- Sewing Groups
- Quilting and Sewing Guilds of all kinds
- Scrapbooking Groups
- Mom’s Groups
- Prayer or Church Groups
- Any other group, no matter how big or small
To participate if you are in the North Alabama area, simply gather your bottles of body wash together and drop them off at one of the drop off points below. Be sure you contact the locations ahead of time to make sure you’re coming during their business hours.
Where can I drop off my bottles to help?
- Christy Jordan’s Holiday Cooking Show in Muscle Shoals, Alabama – If you are attending my Holiday Cooking Show in Muscle Shoals on November 10th, please visit the Southern Plate table to drop off your bottles of body wash – and make sure you come up on stage after the show so I can personally thank you and hug your neck!
- Dan Terra Salon and Day Spa in Athens, Alabama and Madison, Alabama- Dan Tera is offering each of their salon locations as a drop off point. Please visit their webpage for directions.
- Terra Bacio SalonSpa in Huntsville, Alabama is also serving as a drop off point. They are owned but the great folks who own Dan Tera and we so appreciate their support! Click here to visit their Facebook Page.
- The Huntsville GrapeVine in Madison, Alabama has offered their office as a drop off point. They are located at 126 Castle Dr, Madison in the offices of the TN Valley Barter Exchange. Click here to visit their Facebook page and get directions.
- Donny’s Diamond Gallery in Huntsville Alabama (At the corner of Bob Wallace and the Parkway) has graciously offered to serve as a drop off point. Please click here to visit his Facebook page and get directions.
- Suzanne’s Bakery and Eatery in Athens, Alabama has also graciously offered to serve as a drop off point. Please click here to visit Suzanne’s Facebook page and get directions.
- New Market BBQ in New Market, Alabama is offering their location as a drop off point as well. While you’re there, try one of the many Southern Plate desserts they feature! Please click here to visit New Market BBQ on Facebook and get directions.
If you own a business and would like to be added to our drop off list, please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the best ways to have yourself a Merry Little Christmas is to make someone else’s a little brighter!
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.