Girl Scout Makes 88 Christmas Stockings for Lonely Nursing Home Residents

December 24, 2020 at 2:22 am

“I don’t want anyone to feel they are forgotten and alone,” Girl Scout says of nursing home residents, who won’t be getting any visitors this holiday

A 12-year-old Girl Scout is gifting each member of a nursing home a homemade stocking, stuffed with a few gifts to cheer them up while they’re restricted from seeing their families this Christmas.

Olivia Coolidge decided to turn a fundraising project for the Girl Scout’s highest honor (grades 6-8) – The Silver Award – into a gifting giving surprise for senior citizens in a Granville, New York.

For each $10 donation Olivia handcrfted a stocking and stuffed it with a few gifts for seniors in Slate Valley for Rehabilitation and Nursing.

Up to $3 from each donation went to the Silver Award, while the rest went toward the stocking and gifts.

Olivia knows all about loneliness in nursing homes after spending many weeks in multiple facilities visiting her grandmother when she was younger.

“My grandmother wasn’t doing well, and over two years, she would have to go in and out of various nursing homes for rehabilitation,” Olivia said. “My mom would take me when she visited and many people would come up to me and hold my hand or hug me.

“One day, we were visiting and a nurse mentioned that they were doing a collection for items they needed to give to residents who had no one. My mom ‘adopted an elderly person’ and we bought him some socks, lotion and PJs.  After that, it was something we just did each holiday, even after my grandmother died in 2016.”

Olivia was originally hoping to get enough donations for for 25 stockings, but with the help of social media, she collected enough  for all 88 residents.

“I wanted to give stockings to ‘Forgotten Seniors’ and when my fundraiser took off, I reached out to other nursing homes, but they didn’t call me back,” Olivia said. “I told this to Slate Valley and they motivated me to donate more stockings to their other residents (meaning, those with families) because residents who have families haven’t been able to see them and are depressed. With COVID-19 and safety concerns, most residents haven’t been able to see loved ones or participate in community or facility events. I don’t want anyone to feel they are forgotten and alone.”

Now that all the stockings are made, Olivia is working on her Silver Award project, which is a mural featuring Girl Scouts in uniforms from different time periods. This graphic-photo design mural will serve as happy reminder to elders about the good times they had eating Girl Scout cookies when they were kids.

Olivia’s message to her supporters is simple: “Thank you to all who cared and gave a lonely elderly nursing home resident a present this Christmas.”