A delivery consisting of more than 200 Christmas gifts brightened an otherwise cold, wet and gloomy Monday for the residents of Woodland Healthcare in Midway. The act of holiday cheer, courtesy of Eleven Black Men of Liberty County and the donations of numerous other community members, was just a small part of the nonprofit entity’s mission to teach children by setting good examples.
The Eleven Black Men of Liberty County President Barry Chapman said his organization, which provides mentorship for local African-American youth, decided to adopt the nursing home this year.
“We have to go back to our roots and taking care of our seniors, and taking care of our sick and shut-ins,” he said Monday at the nursing home. “We have to teach our children that this is the right thing to do, because sooner or later … you’re probably going to want somebody to be able to look after you.”
Chapman said he spoke with Woodland’s activity director, Carrlyn Keating, who provided him with residents’ wish lists. Eleven Black Men then organized a drive to raise money and gift donations.
Organization members on Monday brought gift bags filled with movies, puzzles, games, exercise videos, hygiene products and a host of other supplies and gifts for distribution to the center’s senior residents.
“On behalf of the activity department and Woodland Healthcare residents and staff, I would really like to thank Mr. Chapman from the bottom of my heart,” Keating said. “I was not expecting this. But he came through for us and we do appreciate it, and I’m sure the residents will have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas.”
“A lot of our residents here don’t have families,” added Mike Battle, executive director of Woodland Healthcare. “I really have to say, this is overwhelming.”
Along with individual gift bags, Woodland residents also received a 50-inch flat-screen TV.
“(The) community came out in force, and … actually gave us the funding to purchase all of these things,” Chapman said.
Along with the gift donations, Chapman said that Bishop Raymond Napper of Powerhouse of Deliverance Church in Hinesville pledged to periodically transport the senior residents to places like Walmart and other shopping venues.
After placing the gift bags and TV under the Christmas tree in the center’s reception area, organization members distributed teddy bears to the residents and wished them a merry Christmas.
“We are just very, very appreciative,” Battle said. “This turned a gloomy Monday into something to smile about.”