Centennial seniors work together to put smiles on kids’ faces

Community Life

Posted: December 4, 2020

Holly Creek delivers 108 gift boxes to Operation Christmas Child

Every child, especially in a year as difficult as 2020, deserves a smile around the holidays. This is exactly why residents and staff at the Holly Creek Life Plan Community in Centennial are supporting the program Operation Christmas Child to get as many gifts as possible to children in need. Operation Christmas Child involves stuffing shoe boxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items that are delivered to children all over the world.

Because social distancing made shopping a challenge, Holly Creek residents and staff came up with a streamlined system to make more than 100 boxes for Operation Christmas Child – 108, to be exact. Residents were asked to donate money for purchasing gifts to fill the boxes – and donate they did, providing $4,000 for the cause.

April Henderson, Director of Community Life, and Jean Neumann, a volunteer who manages Holly Creek’s in-house gift shop Molly’s Mercantile, then purchased items for all the boxes so each one would contain exactly what Operation Christmas Child requests.

Then the real work started — more that 30 volunteers, including volunteers and residents like Jean and Becky Stouder, packed and wrapped the boxes. The process was broken into four assembly events so volunteers could follow all Tri-County Health, City of Centennial and CDPHE social distancing guidelines.

Director of Community Life April Henderson (left), Resident Henrietta Smith (middle) and Chaplain Jim Kok (right) help assemble Operation Christmas Child boxes at Holly Creek. Photo credit: Holly Creek Life Plan Community

By the end of November, 108 boxes (half for boys and half for girls) were stuffed with essential hygiene and school supplies, and loaded with fun gifts too, including flip-flops, stuffed animals, diecast cars, fidget spinners, slide whistles, Frisbees, socks, sunglasses and much more. The boxes were then delivered to the Samaritan’s Purse processing building in Denver.

“There are lots of people at Holly Creek with big hearts who are eager to help others,” said Becky Stouder. “Each box was individually labeled so we can see where they go and hopefully connect with the child and their parents afterwards.”

Residents Pat Van Bramer, Ann Morehead, Sally Lunch and Robert Morehead pack boxes together.
Photo credit: Holly Creek Life Plan Community

Holly Creek is finding other ways to spread good cheer and celebrate the season. If you’re interested in learning more about Holly Creek, please RSVP for the community’s “Month of Sharing and Cookies,” taking place weekdays in December from 11 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday, where you can tour a cottage or apartment home and receive homemade holiday treats. Due to COVID protocols and to socially distance visits, RSVP is required by calling 720.266.5611 or emailing kberg@clcmail.org.

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