Secret Santa gives joy to Carrington nursing home residents
Carrington nursing home residents have gotten a dose of holiday cheer this Christmas season.
Someone has made residents at Golden Acres Manor in Carrington very happy - they just don't know who it is.
An anonymous group spent three days at the beginning of December at the Carrington nursing home and assisted living facility lining up and decorating 57 live Christmas trees - placing one in front of all the residents' windows.
"I did witness our secret Santa as the trees were being installed and decorated with lights," said Mitch Page, administrator of Golden Acres Manor. "I was glad that I did, as that allowed me the opportunity to go say a personal thank you for the wonderful gesture and explain how that kind act would bring so much joy to our residents following the difficult time our facility has had over the past several weeks."
Golden Acres Manor is coming off an outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that impacted a large percentage of the residents.
Page said the facility was not expecting this act of kindness but said the facility has been very blessed in that the staff and residents have always received an enormous amount of support from our community, residents' families and many others.
"That support has gone to an unbelievable level over the last several months," Page said. "But even with that, I would have never envisioned something of this scale being done.
"I'm not certain what led our secret Santa to do it, but I suspect it had to do with a big heart, a generous nature and a desire to bring a bit of holiday spirit to those who have been hit hardest by COVID-19. Whatever the reasons might have been, it was greatly appreciated and brought Christmas joy to many."
Page said each tree was decorated with solar lights by the facility's secret Santa as they were being put in place. All family members were invited to come and decorate the tree outside their loved one's window which Page said added a whole other level of specialness to this "amazing" situation.
"It has created a way to let families and our residents have a connection, one that can be revisited every time our residents look out their window." Page said. "That connection is so meaningful at this time of year in general, but it is even more so now after having minimal-to-no contact with one another for weeks due to the visitor restrictions."
Page said for those residents whose family members are unable to participate due to distance or other factors, their trees were also being decorated.
"We have received many inquiries from members of the community that want to be part of this and have asked to help decorate the trees," Page said. "So soon everyone's tree will not only be lit, it will have a personal touch added to it."
All 57 trees are 6 to 7 feet tall and Page said it is quite the display when the small forest is lit up during the evening hours. Page said at this time, no time frame for the trees' removal has been discussed.
I think this is the definition of holiday spirit," Page said. "Doing for others for no reason other than to bring joy while wanting no recognition. Is there a better way to truly define giving or the holiday spirit?
"This community and the surrounding area is filled with people who are caring, generous and supportive." Page said. "Even though their daily lives are busy and at times stressful - especially so with the current COVID concerns - they make the time to make a difference - for us and many others. So I think this act just characterizes the heart of our community."
While the secret Santa will remain anonymous to all but a select few, Page thanked those who made the holiday season a brighter, more enjoyable and special time for those residing at Golden Acres.
"Your generous acts are a wonderful Christmas gift to all of us," Page said.