The residents of The Twin Cities Pavillion, an assisted living facility in Niceville, received an unexpected and very pleasant surprise on Sunday, July 1. The children and youth of nearby St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, accompanied by sponsors and parents, arrived at The Pavillion loaded with gifts and surprises for every resident – all wrapped in Christmas paper. It was a special Christmas in July event as the young people of St. Jude’s distributed gifts, spent time with residents and decorated for the Fourth of July.
A few months in advance of the occasion, each resident was asked to identify a special delicacy or treat that they would like. A description of the items were written on Christmas ornaments and hung on an Angel Tree in the St. Jude’s parish hall. Church members selected an ornament and made each resident’s wish come true.
Some residents were delighted to receive their favorite soda or beverage. There were many gifts of special foods and sweets and even no-sugar treats for those with dietary restrictions. One resident had indicated that he was a Chicago Cubs fan and received a Cubs baseball cap. According to Karen Luciano, The Pavillion activities director, “The visit from the young people and the gifts they shared were much appreciated and the residents had so much fun. The Pavillion is extremely grateful for the many blessings provided by our community.”
St. Jude’s youth coordinator, Maria Spotts, says she believes this cross-generational exchange of caring and love means a great deal to the young people as well as the residents of The Pavillion. In addition, the entire St. Jude’s congregation had an opportunity to become involved in the Christmas in July youth project.