Macon church hands out Christmas gifts to nursing home residents

wcrenshaw@macon.comDecember 21, 2013 

While many people in Macon were buying Christmas presents Saturday, one church was handing presents out.

Members of Glorious Hope Baptist Church brought more than 100 presents to the Oaks at Peake nursing home, enough to give one to every resident.

Deborah Dennard, who organized the effort, said the church does a monthly service at the facility. Members were asked to “adopt” residents and get them presents.

“We just decided that every resident needed a gift,” she said. “The members of the church gave abundantly.”

Community members who are not in the church also donated to the effort. The gifts included items such as throw blankets, nightgowns and sweaters.

One of the residents who got a gift was 100-year-old Veta Schairer, who was an Army nurse in Europe during World War II. She got a foot massager and a nightgown.

“I think this will be very wonderful,” she said.

Church members also sang Christmas songs for the residents, and Pastor Emeritus Wallace Herring delivered a short sermon about the true meaning of Christmas.

Schairer wasn’t the oldest resident to get a present. That was Mauzie Stokes, 103, who hadn’t yet opened her gift.

“I think it’s so sweet and kind,” she said.

Jurlene Kendrick, the home’s activities director, said many of the residents do not have family members come see them at Christmas.

“Oh my God, it’s a blessing,” she said of the church’s efforts.

“Each one of these residents appreciates whatever they get. The ones who can’t say anything, you can see the biggest smile on their faces,” Kendrick said.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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