Program hopes to lift spirits of
100 seniors this Christmas
by BRYAN ZOLLMAN
Nobody wants to be alone on Christmas.
Unfortunately, there are a large number of seniors who do spend the holiday season alone. Usually they are widowed, and they either don’t have children or their children are too far away and busy with their own families to visit.
Regina Felling is one of those individuals. She will be 90 years old next April. She has lost her husband, Walter, and her only son has also passed away.
Thankfully, there are organizations like Alternative Senior Care in Sauk Centre who make sure seniors like Regina don’t feel isolated during the holidays.
Alternative Senior Care is currently seeking donations and volunteers for their fifth annual Christmas For a Senior.
“We are asking people to consider a tax-deductible donation to Christmas for a Senior,” said Mike Karasch, co-owner of ASC. “No matter how large or small, a donation will make a difference in the life of a senior this Christmas season.”
Felling is a client of ASC and receives in-home care throughout the week from caregivers.
“They are very good to me,” she said. “Everyone has been so nice.”
She was at the ASC office last week and talked about her experience last year with Christmas For a Senior.
“I loved it,” she said. “I liked everything they brought me.”
Felling has an infectious smile and laugh. Last year she received flowers, a toaster, kitchen towels, sheets and pajamas.
“If we know the person we try to get them something they need or will use,” said co-owner Cindy Karasch. “Sometimes it is just food they need.”
ASC is also seeking nominations of seniors who may be alone this Christmas and who would benefit from the Christmas For a Senior program.
“We are trying to reach those whose Christmas is going to be just another lonely day,” said Mike Karasch.
Nominations can be called into ASC at 800-352-3350. Deadline for nominations is Dec. 6. Shopping will be done the following week and the gifts will be delivered the week after that.
Donations can be dropped off at ASC or at MN National Bank. Volunteers are also needed to help shop for the gifts, and help with gift wrapping and delivery. Last year, caregivers and volunteers from ASC delivered gifts to 57 individuals in Sauk Centre and the surrounding area.
“Our goal is to warm 100 hearts this year,” said Karasch. “But we can only do it with the community’s help.”