Thursday, April 25, 2024

Santa for seniors

Staff Writer | December 25, 2020 1:05 AM

HAYDEN — It started with an offer from John L. Scott Real Estate to donate 25 gift baskets to Hayden seniors.

“Then, the word spread from there,” said Lisa Martin, Hayden Senior Center executive director.

Soon, Northern Lights Fire District joined in. Then Kootenai Electric Cooperative. The city of Hayden. And Kootenai County commissioners.

When the contributions were counted up, they had nearly 200 baskets packed with presents that were delivered to seniors Tuesday and Wednesday.

Katherine Hanna, senior center board member, said the response “overwhelmed us with love.”

Blankets, hats, gloves, candy, candles, and gift cards poured in, all with the hope to make the holidays brighter for seniors, many of whom are homebound and alone due to the coronavirus.

“It was a massive community effort,” she said.

Stephanie Saterfiel, another senior center board member, said many of their members are considered the “silent generation.” They don’t let people know if they are struggling, if they need anything, if they could use some help.

For some, the Hayden Senior Center provides their only nutritional meals and time for socialization.

But since the center has been closed due to the coronavirus, “they suffer in silence," Martin said.

So the gift baskets were a wonderful Christmas present and pleasant surprise for seniors who had no idea they were coming when Norther Lakes firefighters rolled up to their doors, baskets in hand.

“It’s been amazing, the way everyone responded for our seniors,” Saterfiel said.