Area scouts were a part of spreading some Christmas cheer Saturday, as they brought gifts to nursing home residents, veterans and those in home health care.
It’s part of Christmas Magic, a grassroots effort to reach veterans and the elderly who might not get much in the way of Christmas gifts.
“Christmas is not a time to be forgotten,” said Janice Koshiol, one of the organizers of the event. She and friends Judy Koerner and Nancy Leiker started the effort last year, wanting to reach out to veterans, then decided to include home-bound elderly and those at nursing homes.
They met up Saturday afternoon with members of Girl Scout Troops 10058 and 11261 and Boy Scout Troop 101, starting at the Good Samaritan Society, 2700 Canal, to hand out the first of 52 gift bags.
“We like to get the scouts involved because we want the scouts and vets and older people to intermingle,” she said.
Early in December, they posted in the Facebook group "You Know You’re From Hays If …" requesting donations of $25 a bag. With the proceeds, they purchased what they could, but businesses also donated to the effort.
“We don’t want to put little things in there. We want them to feel like they’re actually getting something,” Koshiol said.
Golden Belt Bank donated bottles of shampoo, Dollar Tree donated the gift bags, Salon Central donated combs and Northwestern Printers printed small cards and donated note pads. Other items include lotion, boxes of tissue, a stress ball, playing cards, a candy cane and clementines.
A woman in Great Bend, Carol Foos, donated hand-made lap blankets for each recipient, as well.
Each of the scouts also received an ornament as a keepsake for participating.
Koshiol said they will post in the Facebook group around mid-November next year with information on how people can donate to the project.