Seniors receive help with tree trimming

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Maidu Village has a handful of helpful elves this holiday season. The “elves” don’t travel from the North Pole and they may not know Santa personally, but the spirit of Christmas and giving they know very well. Donna Goles, Senior Outreach director at Bayside Church in Granite Bay saw a need for community involvement at the Roseville low-income senior living development. “I know that a lot of the residents live here alone and if it weren’t for community-building events, would stay alone in their apartments,” Goles said. “The management really does a fantastic job of hosting events and we wanted to help out a little where we could.” Goles worked with Project GO, Inc., the nonprofit owner and manager of the Maidu Village’s earlier this year to create a number of holiday gatherings and events for the senior community to enjoy. On Tuesday night, Goles and volunteers from Bayside Church hosted a tree trimming and stocking decorating party for the senior residents at Maidu Village building No. 1. “It’s so thoughtful of them to want to do this,” said Kirsten Foster, Rental Property manager at Maidu Village. “Some of the seniors don’t have the means to buy a tree or they don’t have the energy to put one up. It’s great that our residents can come together and take part in the holidays as a community.” With home-baked cookies and breads decorating the community kitchen counter and cheery holiday music playing, the residents rolled up their sleeves and got busy decorating red felt stockings. Wielding a gold glitter glue pen was Maidu resident Loraine O’Rourke who was pleased to have the Bayside congregants help with the decorating. “If I wasn’t out here with all these nice people I’d have sat in my apartment watching some dumb show on TV,” O’Rourke said. “This is what the holidays are supposed to feel like, lots of people around and being helpful and nice.” Buljan Middle Schoolers Emma Slack, Caroline Cirrincione and Emma Leach sat at a table with Maidu resident Betty King while they decorated their Christmas stockings with stickers and glitter pens. “It’s so fun to come be helpful and to see how happy they are to see us,” Cirrincione said. “It makes me feel all cozy inside.” Staci Slack, mother of Emma and Kate Slack who both attended the tree-trimming event said it was important to her that her daughters attend these types of community service events. “I like for them to see the other side of Christmas, that it’s not just about them and what they get but about what they can give to others,” Staci said. After their stockings were decorated to their liking and the cookies had been eaten, several residents and Bayside volunteers gathered in the lobby to decorate the community Christmas tree. Young Bayside volunteers helped residents hang ornaments on high branches under the supervision of Maidu resident Margie Potter who had decorated the rest of the apartment building. King said the holidays have been especially hard since her husband passed away during the holidays in 2002, but was thankful for the volunteers and the Potter for decorating the building. “We have something beautiful to look at and remind us of the holidays, and great people around us to celebrate,” King said.