Senior Angel Tree Gifts Delivered by Santa
On Dec. 13, 2018, Santa Claus brought an SUV full of gifts to Loving Care Homes which is located on Forest Grove Rd. in Allen. Santa filled the festively decorated living room with additional Christmas spirit as he greeted residents with a booming “Merry Christmas”. City of Lucas Special Projects Coordinator, Kent Souriyasak and Planning Coordinator, Donna Bradshaw helped Santa distribute gifts to each of the residents.
In 2013, City of Lucas staff began gathering gifts for Loving Care and it eventually became an annual community donation drive. Souriyasak said, “This year, our holiday donation drive started on November 12 (and went) through December 7. We partnered with Loving Care and Agape to create a list of Angels and their wish list for our Senior Angel Tree.” There were 14 Angels on the list from both Loving Care and Agape. Examples of gifts on their wish list included slippers, chocolate, socks, journals and much more. Souriyasak said, “Our community did an incredible job at fulfilling everyone’s wish list and going above and beyond.”
Regarding why City of Lucas participates in this annual activity, Souriyasak said, “It is important to show our support for all residents in our community. (Loving Care Homes is located less than three miles from Lucas City Hall.) We love stopping by Loving Care and Agape and visiting with the residents. By having Santa personally deliver gifts to the residents is such a special moment.”
Ania Rust, owner of Loving Care Homes said the residents were counting down the days until Santa would visit them, “They were so excited.” She said many of the residents are homebound and they really look forward to events when people come to visit them. When the city brings them gifts, she said, it shows the residents that they have not been forgotten. On this day, when asked what they hope they will get for Christmas, a common response was, “I hope my son (or daughter) will come to visit me more often.”
Rust points out that Loving Care Homes is so blessed; in addition to the Christmas cheer brought by the City of Lucas, many groups from Lovejoy ISD and churches from the community also come to brighten their holiday season.
After all of the residents had received their gifts, spontaneous Christmas carols ensued. Santa said, “Can’t we just keep singing ‘Here Comes Santa Claus?’ That’s my favorite!” Using song to thank Santa and the City of Lucas, Rust led the residents in a robust singing of “You are My Sunshine” because, as Rust said, they wanted to show their guests how much they love them.