Meals on Wheels is providing all clients holiday gifts with help from the community

Meals on Wheels Senior Angel Tree

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Meals on Wheels is bringing joy to each and every one of its clients through a Senior Angel Tree and Secret Santa program.

The idea started before Thanksgiving when Meals on Wheels made calls to each client to find out their wish list. Some of the answers include items many often take for granted, such as towels or even five minutes to talk with someone.

“We have 108 seniors; all of them were adopted,” Meals on Wheels operations director Angie Moncrief said. “Everything on their wish list was provided, some small and some large.”

All clients will receive a trash bag filled with wrapped gifts. Last Sunday, the organization spent about 12 hours wrapping and organizing all the gifts.

“Then we even had some extra gifts. People walked in with bags of things or they said, ‘My person needed this but here’s another bag with the exact same stuff; you can separate and use where you need to,’” Moncrief said.

Moncrief said they want clients to know they’re loved and cared for, especially with the limited opportunities to visit family brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteers are delivering the gifts from Dec. 16 through Dec. 18. Each visit is accompanied by a special visitor - Santa or one of Santa’s helpers.

“The elderly have such a place in my heart,” one of Santa’s helpers said. “They are the windows to our past and they have done so much for this country, but they have also paved our future. All they want is to sit, sit five minutes, just five minutes of our time.”

Whitney Crosby and her family decided to adopt four seniors. She said requests from her seniors included towels, washcloths, clothes, and puzzles.

“My heart was broken for them to think how lonely they must be, especially right now,” Crosby said. “I also just think it’s so important to show the kids - because we have six kids - why it’s so important to give to other people.”

Her son, Oliver, came along Wednesday to help.

“I just love coming out here and helping,” he said. “Seeing the smiles on their faces, it’s amazing and something you can’t forget.”

Moncrief said handcrafted paper ornaments will hang on next week’s meals for Christmas. She said Heartland Hospice partnered with Ocean Bay Elementary to provide the student-decorated ornaments.

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