Senior Angels Host ‘Stuff the Ambulance’ to Support Seniors During the Holidays

Senior Angels Host ‘Stuff the Ambulance’ to Support Seniors During the Holidays

Senior Angels in collaboration with Southlake Mall, held a 'Stuff an Ambulance; drive for gifts on Friday November 16th. By the end of the day, the ambulance was packed full of goodies. The true spirit of the holiday season was alive and well within a group of volunteers who truly are angels to seniors.

 Donna Brandy, Founder of Senior Angels, is passionate about giving the gift of joy to the senior citizens in the community. Brandy is in healthcare marketing and works with seniors on a daily basis.

“I saw the angel trees popping up all over town for kids and since I work with seniors, I know that they could use assistance like that, too,” Brandy said. “I hear stories about seniors deciding whether to buy food, medication, or pay bills. I also have worked with some who have lost a loved one and are alone for the holidays.”

With the holiday season just beginning, the Senior Angels are collecting donations and accepting new recipients through December 14th. When all donations are in, they plan to have a “wrap party” where volunteers will wrap all the presents and get them ready for delivery to all of the recipients.

Kristine Moosmann, Volunteer, believes that Senior Angels gives gifts to seniors who might not have family members or friends to help during the holiday season. Moosmann hopes that Senior Angels will make seniors feel included in the holiday fun.

“Most of the volunteers work with the senior population so we definitely see the need,” Moosmann said. “We know the holidays can be hard emotionally especially if you no longer have a family, and we want to help any way we can.”

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Moosmann felt the holiday spirit all day, with the Southlake Mall’s gigantic Christmas trees setting the ambiance, and the spirit of giving in the air. She mentioned it was exciting to see the gifts coming in; things like warm blankets, socks, and makeup. Moosman thinks it is an important aspect of the season to think of others.

“I enjoy being a part of Senior Angels and getting my son involved,” Moosmann said. “It has been a good opportunity for him to give back.” Kristi Jackson, Marketing Director South Lake Mall, said that the mall is happy to partner with Senior Angels because it is benefiting people who are in need and sometimes forgotten. The event was a successful pairing and the mall is prepared to make Stuff the Ambulance an annual event.

“We hope to light up some faces during the holidays. After all, who doesn’t want to get a gift? Seniors are no exception,” Jackson said. “The shoppers are loving this and so are we.”

Sartori Chiaro, Volunteer for Senior Angels and Elite ambulance EMT, relayed that the reason he chose the healthcare field is because he enjoys helping others. In Chiaro’s line of work, he sees first hand the hardships of the elderly and feels passionate about Senior Angel’s mission. According to Chiaro, some seniors have financial difficulties and do not have the resources to buy themselves something nice. Sadly, some are alone for the holidays and do not expect to receive anything at all.

“A lot of people might be thinking about their own families and sometimes the elderly population is forgotten during the busy holidays. I encourage everyone to go out and make someone’s day,” Chiaro said.

Pulling off this day of giving was truly a team effort. Organizations from around the Region sponsored the "Stuff the Ambulance" event, including RCS Home Healthcare, Walgreens of Hobart, Elite Ambulance, Oak Street Health-Gary, Oak Street Health-Hammond, Amada Senior Care, Millers Merry Manor of Hobart, and NWICA. With their and the volunteers' help, ​the event was a huge success with a bunch of gifts waiting to brighten a senior’s holiday!