Palmer residents continue holiday tradition of ‘spoiling’ seniors

Nov. 30, 2022 | Carolyn Noel

PALMER – For the second year, Palmer residents will come together to donate items to senior citizens this holiday season. Santa Spoils Senior Citizens, also known as Santa4Seniors, was created by Mieke Crane and Jan McCoy.

Their goal is to spoil senior citizens that spend the holidays alone and put a smile on their faces.
After Thanksgiving 2021, Crane saw a Facebook post talking about Monson seniors receiving holiday gifts and jumped on the opportunity to bring that initiative to Palmer as well. Crane then reached out to McCoy to start Santa Spoils Senior Citizens.

“Our main goal is to come together as a community and make sure none of our local senior citizens feel alone during the holiday season. We want to lift their spirits and put smiles on their faces, during a time that can be very lonely for so many,” said Crane.

The initiative had a great community response last year and they were able to donate many gifts to the Palmer Healthcare Center and the Palmer Senior Center.

“It warms your heart when you can help other people. To me, volunteering is almost selfish because I get a good feeling out of it too and I know Mieke feels the same way. We’re both very community-minded in our efforts around town,” said McCoy. “It was a good time and the response and feedback were very positive and heartwarming. This year we’re trying to start earlier and expand our reach.”

The group is now collecting donations of items such as large print crossword puzzles, playing cards, wall calendars, baby dolls and stuffed animals, warm hats, gloves, scarves, throw blankets, mugs, tea, stationery and more.

There are both Amazon and Walmart wishlists of gift ideas on their Facebook page.

Donation bins have been set up outside J. Stolar Insurance Agency, The Canine Cuttery and Gotta Dance. Interested residents are able to drop their donations into the bins and they will be collected each week.
The gifts will be assembled on Dec. 17 and then provided to seniors in need. Crane said that she is excited to see the community come together and make a difference.

“I think it’s great seeing my community come together to help make a difference in the lives of our local senior citizens. Knowing that we have brightened their holiday season is such a great feeling. I am excited to see Santa Spoils Senior Citizens continue to grow over the years, so we are able to help many more of our fabulous seniors,” said Crane.

McCoy looks forward to the opportunity to make the holiday season special for these senior citizens and let them know that they have not been forgotten.

“I think that a lot of time the seniors in our society are forgotten and not valued as they should be. They should be respected and revered and I wouldn’t want anyone of any age to feel alone during the holidays. I know it’s a very difficult time, especially for those who have lost loved ones. I want seniors to know that they’re not forgotten by society as a whole,” she said.

Those interested in learning more information about Santa Spoils Senior Citizens should to visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/944270123193909/.

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