PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS®, a holiday program founded in 1984 by St. Barnabas President William V. Day. The program has granted gifts and holiday visits for more than 431,113 patients living in nursing home facilities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Tennessee and West Virginia. In 2010, 103 businesses, 29 churches, 23 schools, 33 organizations, and 110 scout troops participated in PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS® by adopting patients and visiting them over the holiday season.
Day created the program to ensure that long-term care residents are not forgotten during the holidays. He also wanted the program to encourage community members to visit their local long-term care facilities in order to witness acts of kindness and compassion. During its 27th season, in 2010, PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS® celebrated a new record – 27,482 residents were offered gifts at 322 facilities throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Tennessee and West Virginia. The campaign matches interested donors with a patient at a nearby nursing facility. Donors are then sent their patient’s information, including his or her three gift wishes. Each donor is asked to purchase at least one of those items.
“I find it so rewarding to be a part of this incredible program,” says PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS® spokesperson Valerie Day Wilden. “The nursing home patients are always so happy to just be remembered during the holidays and I’m proud to play a role in that happiness.”
Some participants go above and beyond the standard commitment of the program by executing truly extraordinary wish list items for patients. For instance, Hank Norton, a 76 year old resident of Beaver Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, had a special Christmas wish last year – to fly in a small-engine plane. Hank, an Air Force veteran, was granted his request to fly again through PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS®.
Often times many PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS® contributors will donate money for a PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS® teddy bear or throw blanket to be given to a patient. Donations in the form of volunteer hours at the headquarters are also appreciated as it takes much time to match nursing home residents with donors to ensure all participants get a fulfilling experience.
For more information and to learn how you can donate and /or participate, call 724-444-5521 or visit www.PRESENTSFORPATIENTS.com.