GREENSBURG – In late November, the residents at Aspen Place Health Campus began decorating stockings as a fun activity every Wednesday.
The residents enjoyed decorating the stockings, but soon began to wonder what would become of the extra stockings. Aspen Place activities director Meagan Swegman had the idea to find an organization that needed stockings so they could donate all the extra decorated items.
Donating the extra stockings was an idea all the residents involved embraced wholeheartedly. Swegman contacted Sandra Gabbard at Healthy Families of Decatur County, a home-visitation program that works with parents on child development from birth to three years old. Healthy Families works one on one with new parents to ensure children are reaching all developmental milestones as they should be.
“I think it’s wonderful that Aspen Place is a place that wants to give back to the community. I know this isn’t the first project they’ve done and we’re honored they chose us to help,” Gabbard said.
Originally, Aspen Place had planned to simply donate the extra 12 stockings, according to Swegman. But it wasn’t long before she and the residents realized that the need was greater. Swegman called Healthy Families again and learned there were 26 children in the program that could use stockings.
At least 20 residents at Aspen Place took part in decorating the stockings. Swegman said they were thrilled to be giving back and having a sense of purpose. The directors of Aspen Place then decided to purchase items to fill the stockings with personal money so they could donate filled stockings and brighten the children’s Christmas morning.
“It’s never too late in our lives to still focus on giving,” Swegman said. “We always have something to give, no matter what age we are.”
Swegman said all the residents involved enjoyed making the stockings to donate. Both Swegman and Gabbard are delighted with this year’s partnership and have been talking about repeating the project next year.
“We really do feel honored that Aspen Place decided to do this. Some of our kids wouldn’t have had as blessed a Christmas without this. This could potentially become an annual event where Healthy Families and Aspen Place partner to make sure these children receive stockings,” Gabbard said.
Swegman said the generosity and sense of purpose the residents felt while decorating the stockings has been very beneficial to them.
“It’s an uplifting thing for all of us here at Aspen Place and has brought us all closer together,” Swegman told the Daily News. “This is a character building lesson, no matter what age you are.”
Any new parents interested in becoming a part of Healthy Families of Decatur County should call the office directly at 812-662-0857. They offer parental skill development and support for children from birth to three years old. Children must be enrolled by the time they reach three months old.
Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004;