For seniors that lived through the Depression era—and even through the most recent recession—going without, or with very little, is something they understand. This is a generation that grew up humbled by the experiences that shaped them. Feeling a sense of connection and comradery, residents at Woodland Pond eagerly gathered a myriad of gifts and donations for two local families in need who are participating in Family of New Paltz’s Adopt-A-Family program. Brightly colored toys, warm clothing, family games, music players, video games, jewelry, shoes and more have been heaped underneath the community’s holiday tree. For these altruistic seniors, getting these two families just one gift was not enough, so they splurged.
“You can actually see how giving back brings so much joy to the residents and how happy they become when thinking about a young, appreciative child opening a gift they hand selected,” said Sarah Hull, resident services director for Woodland Pond. “They put a lot of thought into the gifts and are pleased to help those in need.”
Between the two families, residents purchased gifts for a total of five children: a five-month-old, a two-year-old, a five-year-old, a seven-year-old and an eleven-year-old. The residents bought everything from baby toys to puzzles, Barbie dolls, action figures and electronics. The meaning of Christmas is true and dear to their hearts, and they enjoy spreading love, peace and joy. They hope that through their actions, the children learn how wonderful it is to help others in need when they have resources to share.
“The residents are not only happy to give the kids a good Christmas, they’re happy to ease the stress that comes from not being able to provide for one’s children on Christmas,” said Michelle Gramoglia, executive director for Woodland Pond at New Paltz. “Families can now focus on what truly matters without stressing about how they will make Christmas happen. We are happy to assist these families and spread some holiday cheer. We have a jolly bunch of holiday cheermeisters here within our community, and I am inspired by their generosity.”