Residents continue Christmas adoption
For the better part of 15 years, the residents and staff of Lawrence Presbyterian Manor have shared their Christmas spirit by adopting several families in the community who might otherwise struggle to enjoy Christmas.
“Lawrence Presbyterian Manor residents have given generously over the years, so the (spiritual life) committee has requested that we work with a family with three to four children,” said committee member Pat Blair. “We divide into teams at Walmart and shop from their list of requested toys and clothing sizes.”
On the Christmas lists, the dads typically hope for tools or fishing gear, while the mothers ask for cooking supplies. Naturally, the kids want whatever toys they’ve seen advertised on television.
In addition to traditional Christmas gifts, the team usually buys each family member a complete outfit, including footwear. They also reserve a significant amount of funds to help the family purchase groceries.
“We buy the request toys, or as close as we can find,” Pat said. “We buy a few old favorites, such as a ball, bingo, Battleship, and Chutes and Ladders, as we try to encourage interplay between the children.”
If there’s any leftover money, the team will purchase sleeping bags to help the children feel cozy and warm during the winter months.
Blair said the effort takes a lot of work and coordination and can be tiring. But knowing the good that’s being done is rewarding, and worth all the effort.
“It is a tiring experience, but we try to do the best we can to help people who are struggling,” she said.
Once the gifts have all been purchased, they’re taken to Presbyterian Manor to be wrapped and prepared for delivery. Any excess funds are given to the Salvation Army to aid in other areas.
“This is a fun way our residents come together around the holiday to give to others,” said Executive Director Christie Patrick. “Each year our residents and staff also collect toys for Toys for Tots. It's wonderful to see the bins filled with toys!”