‘Presents for Patients’ Makes Holidays Brighter for Senior Citizens


‘Tis the season for giving, but this time of year can be a lonely one for many senior citizens. The Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown is doing its part to make the holidays a little brighter for residents, one present at a time.

“They have put Christmas in our hearts where it belongs,” said Sundale resident Mary L. Toothman.

It all started 23 years ago when “Presents for Patients” came to fruition. 

“We go and ask the residents, ‘What would you like Santa Claus to bring you?’ And they’ll give us a couple things,” said Paula Morgan, activities director at Sundale.

That Santa Claus can be just about anyone, bringing their special resident an item from their wish list!

“…Pajamas, nightgowns, stuffed animals…cookies, candy…coloring books, crayons…just having people adopt and donate to these residents is awesome,” said Morgan.

Although presents and donations are very much appreciated, for many senior citizens, the most precious gift is time. Sponsors have the option of giving residents the gifts in person, or via the man in the big red suit – a few days before Christmas.

“Oh, they love visits. They do. That one-on-one with them – they really enjoy that. They need it,” said Morgan. “We have a Mr. And Mrs. Claus that come. When they hand them their gifts, the joy that’s on their face, it’s priceless. It just lights up the room.”

That Christmas spirit especially resonates with Toothman.

“That is everything to me and is everything to our girls that work here. I can’t say enough good things about Sundale.They take the very best care of us,” said Toothman. 

“It’s a lot of work. But to see them it’s worth at all. When you see their faces, it’s worth it all,” said Morgan.

“The love is spread all around. It’s just here. That’s what it is all about: Christmas,” said Toothman.

 If you would like to adopt a local resident, you can call 304-599-0497 or 304-599-5771.

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