It’s Thanksgiving week, and one of my favorite parts about kicking off the holiday season is purchasing gifts for someone in need.
Several years ago, the company my mom works for started buying gifts for residents at an Indianapolis nursing home. The nursing home would provide the office with a list of names of residents that had no one to buy them Christmas gifts. It would have their size, for clothing items, and any items they wanted.
The items on the list are often simple things we take for granted, such as soap and lotion, hats and scarves, sweaters and slippers.
My mom and her coworkers had so much fun shopping for the residents on the list, I really wanted to be a part of it. So, two years ago, I picked a name — a woman named Barthenia.
I know nothing about her, other than her clothing size. That year, I purchased a velour tracksuit for her (matching pants and a jacket), leopard slippers, a hat, scarf, and glove set, toiletries, and a book.
When the gifts were delivered, Barthenia opened the slippers first. She told my mom’s coworker they were the most beautiful things she’d ever seen. We were kindred spirits.
The following year, her name was on the list again. I chose her, and bought similar items for her (including a sparkly thermal henley from Old Navy).
This year, I hoped to see her name again. And there it was — only this time, the nursing home said Barthenia often wore the same outfit, and that she was “always cold.”
Holly to the rescue! Over the weekend, I purchased several gifts for Ms. Barthenia, including:
- Soft chevron throw blanket
- 3-pack of Dollhouse Cozy socks
- Dearfoams velour closed back slipper
- Softlips lip balm
- Bodycolorgy Wild Poppy foaming body wash
- Bodycology Spiced Pumpkin body cream
- Bodycology Spring Rain Blossom body cream
- “30” by Harry Connick, Jr.
- Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits of the 60’s (Oh, yeah!)
- Women’s Warm Underwear set
- Various sugar-free hard candies
I am also making one of the infinity scarves for Barthenia (that’s my project this week) to keep warm.
Seriously, giving to my CASA boys and Barthenia is what makes the holidays special for me. I’m truly thankful that I’m in a position to help others, even if that means less shopping and splurging on myself.
If you live in the Baton Rouge area, and want to give this year, consider giving to my favorite two charities: The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank (A one-time donation of $100 will provide food for a local senior citizen for one ENTIRE year!) and CASA (donations help recruit, train and screen volunteers to help abused children in our area).
Here’s to hoping Barthenia — and all of those in need — gets a little joy this year!