Lutheran Community Services Northwest
2018 Christmas Appeal
It had been seven years since Eileen* put up a Christmas tree. She had once loved Christmas tradition and festivities, but after her grandchildren moved out of state, she lost her main reason for decorating and feeling festive. A disabled senior living alone on a meager fixed income, she became increasingly isolated. With loneliness exacerbating her existing challenges, the holidays became a reminder of what she’d lost, rather than a time for joy and celebration.
A visit from one of Santa’s elves last year changed everything for Eileen. A jolly volunteer donning an elf hat stopped by with gifts for Eileen, courtesy of Santa for Seniors, one of Lutheran Community Services Northwest’s newest programs. In just its second year, Santa for Seniors provided 767 homebound and isolated seniors with gifts both fun and practical, including warm blankets, ready-to-eat foods, and flashlights.
Santa for Seniors was brought to life by local philanthropist Bill Looney. A man of action, the Tacoma businessman equipped himself with a Santa suit that he would wear to local nursing homes. He brought gifts and made sure residents felt special. The act transformed Looney, inspiring him to create Santa for Seniors. After his death in 2015, his family sought an organization to keep Bill’s charitable mission alive. With support from the family foundation established in Bill’s memory, LCS was tasked with owning and growing the Santa for Seniors program.
Inspired by the generosity she experienced from Santa for Seniors and LCS, Eileen went out and bought a three-foot tall Christmas tree. She said, “I started to tear up when my caregiver brought in the decorations from the shed… Thank you so much for helping me feel better.”
Eileen’s needs are being met by other LCS programs now, too. She receives nutritious meals through our Meals on Wheels program, and looks forward to her weekly visits with delivery drivers. She is cared for and connected, which is ultimately our goal with Santa for Seniors. A visit from Santa Claus or one of his elves is a great place to start. When that visit or gift leads to connection, improved health and hope for the future, something that started with a Santa suit transcends the holiday season.
Your year-end gift to Lutheran Community Services Northwest is powerful. You can reignite the light of hope in someone who feels alone and forgotten. A simple gift of $150 can provide 1 month of meals for a senior in need, or 5 gifts to be delivered by Santa or one of his elves. Please give generously, and know that every dollar makes a difference.
Thank you for making this season brighter for our neighbors in need. Even Santa needs his helpers, and we are so glad we have you.
President & CEO
* Lutheran Community Services Northwest is committed to protecting the privacy of our clients. Our stories feature real clients, but names are changed as necessary. Images are selected to represent real client situations, but may not depict the client(s) in the story. Thank you for understanding.