Heritage Meadows

(Herald file photo)

Three area senior living communities have partnered with three area homeless shelters and Freedom Home Care to wrap holiday gifts donated to families experiencing a temporary housing crisis.

Gift Wrapping Schedule:

New Perspective Senior Living - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday, December 16th

Oak Terrace Assisted Living - 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, December 17th

Heritage Meadows (in St. Peter) – 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, December 17th

Again this year, Partners for Affordable Housing (PAH), parent agency for three area homeless shelters, coordinates the distribution of holiday gifts to nearly 60 families facing homelessness in our region. Gifts are purchased through the generosity of local donors and wrapped by volunteers.

“The holidays are a particularly stressful time for families experiencing homelessness. It’s really amazing to see how so many people are willing to come together to help us provide happy memories this Christmas season,” said Jen Theneman, Executive Director at Partners for Affordable Housing. “Our mission is to help people gain housing and to sustain that for the long-term. Saving their money to pay rent and utilities keeps them housed, and through the generosity of individuals, groups, churches and business, they can also enjoy special things and know that many in the community cares. This is what the magic of Christmas is all about.”

For the sixth year, senior living community residents will wrap the donated gifts. PAH staff will deliver the unwrapped gifts and will assist senior wrappers. All wrapped gifts will be distributed to families during the days preceding the Christmas holiday. In addition to coordinating the events, Freedom Home Care provides the wrapping supplies and treats for the three participating communities.

In 2014 Christine Nessler, Co-Owner and Community Outreach for Freedom Home Care, heard about PAH’s need for volunteers. Through her connections to local senior communities, Nessler knew that these residents were looking for meaningful community engagement. A unique and fun project was born.

“Partners for Affordable Housing needed volunteers and senior living communities have people eager to help, so it just made sense to coordinate that partnership,” said Nessler. “We were so happy to be able to help in this small way because we know just how important Partners for Affordable Housing is for our community.”

"Taking care of the community is not only part of our mission but it is the heart of who we are at Benedictine Senior Living Community of St. Peter,” said Heather Deshayes, Campus Sales Coordinator for Benedictine Living Community of St. Peter. “We're proud to be a part helping families in need this holiday season.”

Community members interested in donating to Partners for Affordable Housing to help families experiencing homelessness should contact PAH at 507.387.2115, ext. 4.

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