Greater Binghamton Community Donates Over 20,000 Christmas Cards for Nursing Home Residents
If you've ever doubted whether or not the Twin Tiers area community is filled with love and togetherness, this should squash your doubt.
For the last six years, the Greater Binghamton community has been called on to donate Christmas cards to be delivered to area nursing homes, and each year, the number of cards given grows and quite substantially.
The idea for the Twin Tiers area Making Spirits Bright Christmas Card Campaign all started with a man named Fred. When I met Fred, he was 105-years-old and we were an interesting pair. I was a teenager who wanted to be with my friends instead of being forced to visit a nursing home after Sunday church service and Fred wished that he had friends because he'd outlived everyone he knew but was a bit rough around the edges.
At first, when the nursing staff nudged me toward Fred, I didn't understand why. He would stare at me and I at him and then he'd grunt and wheel himself to the window, refusing to talk to me. And then, one day, Fred spoke. I guess he got tired of the silence because he started talking and didn't stop. He spilled everything about his life and I was so captivated by what he had to say that I saved up babysitting money to buy a tape recorder so I wouldn't miss a word.
Shortly after he turned 106-years-old, Fred died and my heart shattered. I made a decision that for the rest of my life I would find a way to make sure that the nursing home residents in my community would know that they're not alone and that they would have someone to share their stories with.
My husband and I started the Making Spirits Bright Christmas Card Campaign as a way to spread joy on Christmas day with our son. Our first year, we collected just over 1,500 Christmas cards which we were thrilled about but, we had no idea just how big things were about to get.
2021 marks the sixth year of my family collecting cards and gifts from our community and this year, more than 20,000 Christmas cards and over 1,000 gifts were donated! Each resident at area nursing homes will receive at least three Christmas cards and those residents who are having an especially rough year will receive a small gift.
The Making Spirits Bright Christmas Card Campaign truly is a community effort. While my husband and I organize and coordinate deliveries (as well as sign hundreds of Christmas cards ourselves), our little effort has grown into a massive outpouring of love and it is all because of the generosity of our community, our friends, and our family.
Some personal things set us behind a bit in organizing our card deliveries this year, but everything will be in the hands of local nursing home residents before Christmas day and I wanted to make sure to show you what our basement looks like so you can truly see just how much our love our community poured out this year!