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WGH Sponsoring Santa For Seniors Program

December 10, 2018

For the seventh year in a row, Wilbarger General Hospital is collecting items for its “Santa For Seniors” program, which helps bring holiday spirit and cheer to local Senior Citizens in need by giving them a Christmas gift bag.

The program started in 2012 and has continued to grow every year since then thanks to the generosity of not only the WGH employees, but the entire community. Donations for the project will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 14. Last year, the hospital collected enough items for approximately 120 gift bags, with most of those being distributed through the Meals on Wheels program.

 “When we were collecting items that first year, we had no idea the project would take off like it has,” said Kathy McClellan, director of marketing and public relations at the hospital. “The community has just been wonderful. The last couple of years I know employees at the Texas AgriLife Extension Center have brought in bags full of items and I know they’ve already been collecting items for us this year. We’ve already received a cash donation from a resident, and in the past we have received monetary donations from a Sunday School class of a local church.”

Donated items may be dropped off in the “Santa For Seniors” Christmas boxes at the hospital. One of the boxes is located at the nurses’ station on 3rd Floor, while the other box is just inside the Gift Shop, which is located near the front entrance of the hospital. The Gift Shop hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“We have a lot of Senior Citizens who live alone and may not have much family, or at least much family who live nearby, so many of them may not get anything for Christmas. We just want to make sure they know they have not been forgotten,” said Rebecca Braziel, hospital social worker. “Plus, these Senior Citizens are on a limited income and sometimes during this time of year they may spend money on others that they need to buy essential things for themselves. This project gives seniors just a little something for Christmas that they can use, or something that they need.”

In the past, the pets of the Senior Citizens have also received some goodies as well.

 “Everyone is always so appreciative when they receive their Santa For Senior gift sack, but when those who had pets realized there was something in there for their pet, their eyes just lit up,” McClellan said. “For a lot of seniors those pets are their family, but a lot of times they may not have the money to buy their pets anything. They appreciated having something special to give to their pet as much as they did getting something themselves.”

Suggested items to donate include blankets and throws, men’s and women’s slippers and house shoes, socks, gloves and mittens, lotions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair combs and brushes, scarves, wool caps, puzzle books and puzzles. No food items will be accepted.

For more information regarding the “Santa For Seniors” project, contact Braziel at 552-9351 ext. 2876 or McClellan at 552-9351 ext. 2804.