Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Nine-year-old girl plays Santa to area older adults

Posted on 20 February 2018 by calvin

Editor’s Note: Yes we know we have passed Valentines Day, but this story came to us last week about a gracious act of love during the past holiday season. It was too great to pass up despite the fact we are moving into March! And besides… my neighbor still has on their holiday yard lights, proving the gifts of the holidays don’t need to be limited to just one time of year!

For participants of the local nonprofit Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Santa came during the 2017 holidays in the form of a young girl with a big heart and the desire to make a difference.

Nine-year-old Madeline (Maddy) Brazelton (photo right provided), who lives in the Diamond Lake neighborhood, raised $1,000 to buy items—including hand lotion, crossword puzzle books and snacks—to fill stockings for 60 older adults who are involved with Nokomis Healthy Seniors, whose mission is to support older adults in the Nokomis area to remain independent. A hand-made card rounded out the thoughtful presents, which were distributed by volunteers.

“We were so excited when Maddy and her mom approached us about this project,” said Megan Elliasen, Executive Director of Nokomis Healthy Seniors. “It was heartwarming to hear about a young person taking the initiative to spread holiday cheer to others.”

Another Nokomis Healthy Seniors staff member commented, “Many of our participants live alone, and Maddy’s gifts really brightened their day.”

Photo left: 60 older adults in the Nokomis area received holiday stockings. (Photo submitted)

In addition to thinking of older adults who might be lonely during the holidays, Maddy shared her holiday spirit with young people, too. She coordinated a gift program for Face to Face, an organization and health clinic that supports homeless youth in St. Paul.

Maddy’s proud mom Desiree said her daughter hopes to expand her requests for financial support and donations next year. “Her dream is to expand throughout the Twin Cities and to Chicago,” she said.

One couple who received the surprise holiday gift expressed their gratitude: “Thank you so much for thinking of the Nokomis Healthy Seniors at Christmas. What a wonderful job you did with the Christmas stocking full of goodies. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.”

And another appreciative recipient shared, “We can’t thank you enough for the stockings and treats. My mom died, and it really cheered me up this holiday. You have made Christmas brighter.”

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