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Be a Santa to a Senior grants woman's wish
PORT ARTHUR - by Lauren Huet
While many people are looking forward to opening the gifts under their Christmas trees on Christmas day, some older Southeast Texans are not expecting to have any gifts. Home Instead Senior Care wants to change that. The company is partnering with the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program, which collects donated gifts, wraps them, and delivers them to seniors at their homes, in assisted living facilities, in nursing homes, and in hospitals.
Mary Hatch says she can not hear very well. When asked what she wanted from the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program, she requested a hearing aid.
"I never liked to hear crickets. I would pay a million dollars to hear a cricket right now. Seriously, I would. It's like a dead silence, and if you ain't ever heard it, truly you ain't going to like it," said Hatch.
Today, a worker with Meals on Wheels, which works closely with the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program, delivered a wrapped, red present with Mary's name on it, and a note.
The note read:
This was my mother's hearing aid, but she never got to use it, so it is "like new." (Her name was Mary too). Please go to Phelan Hearing Center to have the hearing aid adjusted to your needs. Batteries are in the box with their phone number on it. Merry Christmas!
Hatch says her gift from this secret Santa means a lot.
"A whole lot, I can hear now. I'll be able to hear my grandbaby. He'll be able to come spend the night with me now because I'll be able to hear him, because I can't hear," said Hatch.
Hatch's gift, and about four-thousand others, come from tags placed on more than 100 Christmas trees in retail stores across Southeast Texas.
"We put tags on the trees, we get names of seniors in our community, and we provide gifts from the community to give back to those seniors," said Janet Gunter, with Home Instead Senior Care.
The "Be a Santa to a Senior" program relies on customers choosing a tag, buying a gift, and leaving it under the tree.
"And I wish that everybody that had bought a present could see the expression as we deliver that present and they unwrap it," said the Life Enrichment Director for Cypress Glen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. "The excitement in their eyes and in their faces."
Today, volunteers from Home Instead Senior Care delivered gifts to Cypress Glen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
"Oh, I think it's wonderful. You know that God made all these people be so kind to everybody," said Laura Domingue, who received Elizabeth Taylor perfume.
"It's beautiful, I love them," said Jean Weatherford, after opening her new pair of house slippers.
Hatch calls her Christmas gift a miracle, and wishes she could thank her anonymous Santa in person.
"Thank you very much and I appreciate it a lot," said Hatch, "and God bless you."