Santa makes the rounds

Mike Shaw from the Beach Cities Health District gives a Christmas gift bag to Ron Grosich.

Mike Shaw from the Beach Cities Health District gives a Christmas gift bag to Ron Grosich.

For more than 13 years, the Beach Cities Health District has been delivering holiday gift bags to seniors who otherwise may not be graced by Santa’s presence. Various civic groups and volunteers worked together to collect money and purchase supplies to assemble and deliver over 250 holiday bags to seniors throughout the beach cities.
“They really enjoy the visits from the volunteers because it gives them a chance to talk to somebody,” said BCHD director of Community Care Services Marilyn Rafkin. “I think it’s the visits that are most important. It means a lot to them to know that somebody cares.”

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All of the bags are given to seniors who participate in health district’s Care Management program. The bags contain necessities such as paper, pens, envelopes and stamps collected by the Rotary Club, as well as toiletries, food storage containers, a BCHD calendar, snacks and candy. The reusable bags in which the gifts are delivered were donated by Whole Foods Redondo Beach.

“This is one of the few gifts I’ll get this year,” said Ron Grosich, a program participant.

Words of thanks from last year’s recipients- 

“Thank you and BCHD and all your sponsors for our wonderful and generous Holiday Gift Bags.  Everything in them is very practical and useful, including the yummy treats.  We feel very blessed and rich to have such wonderful and thoughtful friends at Beach Cities and in the Community.”-Redondo Beach

“Thank you for your generous Christmas gifts and the Girl Scouts who sang some cheerful songs to me.”- Redondo Beach

“What a delightful surprise to receive the most generously filled “Goodie” bag.  I appreciate everyone’s concern and thoughtfulness.”-Hermosa Beach

“The Christmas bag was great and my delivery came by bike – the man was very cheerful and nice.”-Redondo Beach

“Thank you for the experience of the joy of the little children.  The joy in their giving, enthusiasm, music and adorable gifts.  Thank you so much.”-Redondo Beach

“Thank you so very much for the wonderful visit of Santa and his Elves.  It was remarkable and memorable. The goodie bag was filled with such a quantity of great things – we realized how much work went into that!  We had not had so much fun for a long time.”-Manhattan Beach

“A very loud knock came at my door and as I peeked out the window, there stood Santa.  To my astonishment so was about half of the Manhattan Beach Police Department and Karen.  I addition to my being overwhelmed at all the people, this nice crowd had a “Goodie bag” for me.  As I was opening all the gifts in the bag, they were all cheering me on.  Finally they wanted a picture of us all- so I sat right down on Santa’s lap with all the rest of the crowd gathered around.  My living room has never been so full of Christmas love.”-Manhattan Beach

“All those men! Tall ones, short ones and everything in between.  And the nicest looking Santa.  I was speechless!”-Manhattan Beach

“Thank you for the gift card.  Everything is so expensive these days; every little bit helps!”-Hermosa Beach

“I want to thank you for the Big bag of goodies which the volunteer brought me the other day.  It was filled with goodies – things I really needed and nice.  Plus a lot of nice things to eat – It was so generous and kind of you to think about all the goodies.  I just love them…down to the umbrella and pen.  I’m just about 82 years old – live alone and it’s just so nice when you are thinking about us.”-Hermosa Beach


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