Gift photo for online

PUNXSUTAWNEY — For seven years, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has donated boxes of gifts to elder care residents, brightening their holiday season.

The PGC’s “Elderly Care Gift and Card Drive,” which began Monday, will last until Dec. 14. Gifts and cards will be distributed to participating elderly care facilities the week before Christmas, said Executive Director Katie Donald.

“The cards and gifts we receive are appreciated greatly by the facilities that are able to share them with their residents,” she said.

One of the facilities that participates each year is Mulberry Square Elder Care and Rehabilitation Center on West Mahoning Street.

Mulberry Square Admissions and Marketing Director Jessica Reed said there is more than one option when it comes to helping residents have a cheerful Christmas.

Each year, Mulberry Square has an angel tree, which allows the public to come in and pick a resident’s name. Residents and family members make up the residents’ “wish lists” — things the resident may want or simply have a need for, Reed said.

The angel tree gifts are distributed at the facility’s Santa Party in mid-December, Reed said.

The PGC brings around eight boxes of “very nice” gifts after the drive is over, Reed says.

Items typically on the wish lists include arts and crafts supplies, hygiene products, nail polish, socks, hates, gloves, movies, books, puzzles and CDs. The PGC asks that items be dropped off unwrapped so they know what each one is, and a local Girl Scout troop volunteers to wrap them before distribution, Donald said.

“It’s something that makes them feel special,” Reed said. “They aren’t million-dollar gifts or anything but it really makes their day that somebody was thinking of them.”

Mulberry Square also always welcomes volunteers who can visit the residents, Reed says.

“When people come in and sit with them and hold their hand, it’s very nice,” she said. “The community here is so great and willing to help.”

To pick a name from Mulberry Square’s angel tree, stop in at 411 West Mahoning Street. Gifts or gift cards for residents can be dropped off at the Groundhog Club Headquarters, located at 200 West Mahoning Street, Suite 1 in Punxsutawney.

For more information, call the GHC at 814-618-5591 or email director@ghogclub.com.

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