11/01/05 — Cherry seeks help with gifts

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Cherry seeks help with gifts

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 1, 2005 1:51 PM

Cherry Hospital is looking for a few good elves to support this year's Operation Santa Claus Project.

Donations and monetary gifts will ensure that every patient has a Christmas package, said Tanya Rollins, special services director.

The staff typically makes sure residents receive one big item they especially want, such as a coat or shoes, then supplements the smaller things. Mrs. Rollins said community groups have historically had a hand in the effort, making it a service project.

"We have been doing this since the 1960s," she said. "It started with the Mental Health Association of North Carolina doing this. They will still do it and support us and other groups, but we have to do a lot of our own recruiting."

Among the "stocking stuffer" items requested this year are socks, toboggans (ski caps), gloves and toiletries in plastic containers. Clothing items needed for men and women include long-sleeve shirts, coats, tennis shoes, watches, wallets and small purses, Walkman-type radios and underwear.

Monetary gifts are used for more specific items that need to be sized, she said. Those who contribute money will be recognized in the Cherry Hospital newsletter according to the amount: Contributions of 50 cents to $49 are listed in the Reindeer Club. Those giving $50-99 are considered in the Elf Club; and those giving more than $100 are in the Santa Club.

Mrs. Rollins asked that donations be received by Dec. 9 to allow time to prepare the packages. Groups and individuals are also welcome to help wrap the gifts in time for the holidays.

Kicking off the season at Cherry Hospital is the annual Christmas parade, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2, at 3:45 p.m. Entries are being sought for the on-campus parade, and there is no entry fee, Mrs. Rollins said.

In the past, an average of 60 entries have participated in the parade that forms on A Street and circles the campus. The public is invited, she said, with parking available on Stevens Mills Road.

There are also opportunities for individuals and groups to assist with Christmas parties for the approximately 300 residents served at Cherry Hospital. The staff provides a party for every ward and every unit, Mrs. Rollins said.

"We have some groups that come every year and help," she said.

For more information about any of the holiday events planned at Cherry, call Mrs. Rollins at 731-3417.