MOUNT VERNON — Residents at the Ohio Eastern Star Home on Gambier Road sat proudly clutching their very own Christmas tree on Tuesday morning, having just received the latest round of Christmas gifts from local resident Carolyn Thompson.
It was the seventh year for Thompson’s project, Christmas At Heart, where she decorates individual Christmas tree displays and presents them as gifts to residents at area nursing homes. The project began after Thompson would take a Christmas tree to her mother each year at The Laurels and saw just how much this really meant to her.
Thompson collects items year-round at garage sales and thrift shops in making different themes for her Christmas tree displays. She then starts putting them together in mid-October for delivery in early December. This year marked the most trees ever donated with 374 trees. OES and Autumn Healthcare were added to the list for Christmas tree donations this year. A total of 122 trees was gifted at OES alone.
Giving of herself and her time is what Thompson chooses to do each year at Christmas. “This is my Christmas,” she said. “Not every part of Christmas comes with buying gifts. That’s not what it’s about. My Christmas is right here. It’s so precious for me to see them coming in and picking out their trees.”
One of the OES residents receiving a tree this year was Kathy Kosman. “This is wonderful. She makes a lot of people happy,” said Kosman while giving a hug to Thompson.
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