Rotary: Stocking program brings holidays to convalescent home residents

December 28, 2005
Santa Paula News

In the season of sharing and thinking of others, about 200 residents of area convalescent hospitals will have a merrier Christmas courtesy of a unique Rotary of Santa Paula holiday program that considers the unique needs of those residing in two local care facilities.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesIn the season of sharing and thinking of others, about 200 residents of area convalescent hospitals will have a merrier Christmas courtesy of a unique Rotary of Santa Paula holiday program that considers the unique needs of those residing in two local care facilities.Ginger Gherardi, Rotary Past President and executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, spearheaded the Stocking for Seniors program several years ago. Rotarians and supporters gather numerous items, and then spend hours stuffing the stockings before they are delivered to residents of Santa Paula Healthcare and Twin Pines Healthcare.“We should have an orange, socks, tissues, notions, note pads, pens and puzzle books” among the items that are stuffed into more than 200 stockings for holiday delivery, noted Gherardi. “The stocking should be fairly full... it takes about an hour or so to get them stuffed.”
Not only do the convalescent hospital residents receive the stockings, but they get an added bonus with a visit from Santa Paula High School students who volunteer to help with stocking delivery.“This year Pat Zwagerman had homemade Christmas cards from the kids at the Santa Clara Valley Boys & Girls Club,” said Gherardi. “Club members also help stuff and deliver” the stockings.Due to the shifting numbers of residents at Twin Pines and Santa Paula Healthcare there are often leftover stockings, which Gherardi said find a good holiday home. “Whatever is leftover is brought to Meals on Wheels,” which allocates the stockings among its clients based on need and availability.“We make two-hundred stockings every year, but the population of Twin Pines and Santa Paula Healthcare varies, so we usually have some left over and nothing goes to waste.”



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