Looking for an old-fashioned holiday celebration with horse-drawn hayrides, hot cocoa by a bonfire, Christmas carols, a tree lighting and Santa?
The public is invited to the free Country Christmas community night from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday that kicks off the 29th annual Presents for Patients® campaign at St. Barnabas' Gibsonia campus at 5827 Meridian Road in Richland Township.
Zambelli fireworks will cap the night.
The event is designed to showcase the benefits of the Presents for Patients® program that brightens the holidays for long-term care residents by matching them with a visitor who personally delivers a gift.
Those in attendance are asked to bring a new unwrapped gift for a nursing home patient. Suggested items include warm blankets, sweatshirts, non-skid slippers, pajamas, sweaters and large-print word searches.
WPXI-TV will be on-site for live coverage and 3WS will broadcast a live radio remote from the event.
Since its founding in 1984, Presents for Patients® has provided gifts and visits to 460,500 residents in nursing homes, personal care homes and living assistance facilities.
It is operated as a community outreach program by St. Barnabas Charities and is co-sponsored by WPXI-TV.
The goal of this year’s campaign is to create smiles for more than 30,700 patients at 353 facilities throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina.
Gift givers are sent a patient card matching them with a patient in a facility near their home. The facility’s contact information and the patient’s three gift requests are included on the card to make shopping easy.
The gift giver then shops for one or more of the gifts and personally delivers it by Christmas. While the present is an excellent conversation starter; the visit is the real gift.
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