‘Santas’ needed to adopt local seniors

By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

The holidays are a time to be surrounded by loved ones, but not everyone has a family to go home to for the holidays.

With Christmas just around the corner, for the third year in a row, a local woman has teamed up with nursing homes and continuing care facilities in the area to ensure that the elderly people in the community receive gifts for Christmas.

Jamie Crozier began asking for the community’s help in “adopting” senior citizens for Christmas three years ago when she came up with the idea while watching a Hallmark movie where an elderly woman had been “adopted” in a similar way. At the time, Crozier was mourning the loss of her grandmother and decided to spread some holiday cheer to elderly people who may not have family around to visit for the holidays.

Last year, 41 seniors living at Cedar Hill Care Center received gifts from strangers that volunteered to shop for items on their Christmas list. Additionally, eight seniors were adopted from Appletree Home of Dresden, as well as totes of items that were donated to Continuing Healthcare at Willow Haven, Continuing Healthcare at Adams Lane and the Abbot Senior Living through donations from Shrivers Hospice.

This year, Crozier initially took 40 names from Cedar Hill. All 40 seniors were adopted with the first few days of the program with 13 names taken by Spectrum Call Center. Crozier is now getting more names and Christmas lists to surpass last year’s number of 41 seniors served at Cedar Hill.

While many Christmas lists encompass a wide variety of requests, many seniors ask for simple items that fall outside of their monthly budget such as candy bars, pop, fuzzy socks, fleece blankets and pajamas.

Crozier also said that she would be open to gathering adoption lists from other nursing homes, as well.

Many people chose to donate generic items instead of adopting a specific senior, which benefits the assisted living facilities all year long.

When seniors come into continuing care facilities, Crozier said they don’t always have an abundance of items, and sometimes they have nothing more than the clothes on their backs. In order to help meet the needs of those seniors, and others living in the facilities, totes full of fleece blankets, white T-shirts, pajamas, cologne and perfume sets, socks and other items were donated to the various other facilities in the county.

“People were so generous, and the community really came together,” Crozier said. “It was awesome to see.”

On Sunday, Dec. 15 the community is invited to Cedar Hill Care Center to participate in the gift giving. Seniors come from their rooms into the common area to partake in opening presents, conversations and to see the characters from Characters Express.

Anyone interested in adopting a senior or donating items to put in the totes can contact Jamie Crozier on Facebook (click here) or by calling/texting her at 740.624.4035.

“I really just want to thank everybody for opening their hearts and doing this,” Crozier said. “I couldn’t do it by myself.”

Crozier is also looking for a person with a Santa costume to volunteer for this year’s event. Many of the seniors and children that attend the event enjoy seeing Santa. Anyone who is interested can contact Crozier.