A project designed to bless residents in assisted-living centers continues – and the organizer would like to see it expand.
Heather Sartin is the activity director at Magnolia Manor, a facility in the northeast Mississippi for any senior who wants to live independently but needs some assistance. Two years ago, Sartin started the Guardian Angels ministry to provide inexpensive and everyday items to residents.
"By the time they pay their rent, they cannot afford anything else," Sartin explains. "So we ask that we get a laundry basket [with] inexpensive toiletries like room sprays, body powders, body lotion, hairspray, toothpaste. We give a specific list but we also ask [for] inexpensive items, maybe like a little warm blanket, to make them feel like they've actually got a Christmas gift."
According to the activity director, students from local churches, youth groups, and schools have been participating. Sartin would like to eventually have students adopt a resident and provide baskets or items throughout the year.
"Since this is just our second year, we do it at Christmas time and get the students to do a Christmas basket for any resident who stays in assisted-living and/or nursing home that we can reach," she adds.
In 2014, the Guardian Angels ministry was able to deliver 625 baskets to any accepting facilities. This year, Sartin says they're hoping to do 1,000 baskets.
"I would love to see this go just as far as God will allow it to go," she concludes. "I just have a passion for the elderly and for young people to get involved with them – especially with all that that the elderly have done for us."