Eldery, disabled and struggling families on the receiving end of first-time effort

by Jim Boyle

Editor

Faith in Action’s first holiday gift program blessed a group of 50-some elderly, disabled individuals and area families who have been struggling this Christmas.

The idea for the Christmas gift program was hatched earlier this year when one of the FIA board members suggested it as a means to bless some of their clients who could use some love, kindness and support this time of year, especially shut-ins, those in need or those without family, whom we serve during the year. It became a reality thanks to generous sponsors in the community, according to Maureen Baty, the organization’s executive director.

There were many contributors, including some that came as a surprise.

“We were amazed when beautiful bags filled with wrapped gifts and poinsettias were generously donated from a local nonprofit called Everyday Grace,” Baty said. “Everyday Grace hopes that these unexpected acts of kindness will let people know they are loved and not alone.’

Baty said it was a reminder to all of the importance of spreading kindness to those around you.

The bags for elderly and disabled clients included a blanket, a puzzle, a coloring book, a Max Lucado Christmas book, a devotional, socks and more, all of which were wrapped.

A 96-year-old widow stated she would have some Christmas spirit now, thanks to the good people like those from FIA.

In the family bags, there was a large cookie and frosting decorating kit, as well as family-friendly activities.

FIA also brought a poinsettias plant, chocolates, a $50 gift card for individuals or $100 gift card for families, and a Christmas card which included the Christmas sponsor’s name.

“These folks were so excited to see us standing at their doorstep with our Santa hat, reindeer antlers and big smiles to bring them Christmas cheer!” said Baty, who commented on “God’s timing” of their visits that allowed a volunteer who helped assemble the bags be there to see first-hand a client receive the bags. She was there serving in her capacity as a home health aide.

“We saw many tears, and people who were shocked,” Baty said.

Faith in Action staff also visited with their clients for a bit and said prayers for them and their families.

“For many, we were their only company this Christmas, and they were so happy when we could stay and visit a bit with them.” Baty said.

A recipient who has expressed feelings of lonliness commented that the soft blanket will be perfect to keep her warm during dialysis treatments. An elderly man said the gifts will go under his tree so he would have something to open on Christmas. A single mother of four children who fled an abusive relationship this past year said her children will be so excited to see the gifts.

Community-supported Faith in Action has many services including transportation, light cleaning, minor home repairs, respite, friendly visiting, yard work, snow removal and more at no cost. For more information, visit www.grfia.org info@grfia.org or call 763-263-4277.

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