Laid out on folding tables at the Redmond Senior Center, heaps of unstuffed stockings.
“It renews my faith in humankind I guess,” said Cheryl Garr the Stocking Program Organizer.
Piled on the tables, donations for the stockings.
Socks, toiletries, candy, games, coloring books, and hand-made crafts all brought by folks wanting to help out.
Tonight at 6, those stockings will be stuffed with goodies and delivered by volunteers to assisted living homes all around the area.
“Just by reaching out, word of mouth, a grassroots effort can culminate in all of this and it renews my spirit that people are good and people want to do good things,” Garr said.
With the help of more than 80 volunteers, Cheryl is creating almost 900 different stockings to deliver to 19 senior living homes across Central Oregon.
“Christmas comes alive when somebody gives them a gift, especially someone else they don’t even know,” said Martin Stewart the Site Director for Awbrey Place Assisted Living.
Cheryl’s idea for the stockings came from her daughter, Taylor, who works in assisted living facilities.
“Well, the holidays are kind of rough on some of our residents. They either have loved ones that have passed away, of they’re just lonely, they live far away from their families, and some have PTSD. Stuff like that,” said Taylor Garr Jones the Director of Nursing Services at Awbrey Place Assisted Living Facility.
As more donations and volunteers joined Cheryl’s cause, the number of assisted living homes receiving stockings grew.
“This year, she kind of wanted to make it bigger, and it totally blew up,” Garr Jones said.
Volunteers are still welcome to help pack the stockings tonight, but the already immense outpouring of support for the project doesn’t just bring smiles to Cheryl’s family, but to those who receive the stockings.
“Oh, it brings me to tears,” said Garr.