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Santa Visits Bell Garden Seniors

HSA client Lucille Lefto , middle, poses with Santa. (Elizabeth Ruiz for HSA) [1]

HSA client Lucille Lefto , middle, poses with Santa. (Elizabeth Ruiz for HSA)

Ross Hall in Bell Gardens was filled with holiday cheer last week, thanks to the Rio Hondo-Vernon Rotary Club and Human Services Association that once again hosted a Christmas party for local elderly.

Santa in his red suit, and sporting some pretty cool sunglasses to help him with the California sun, made a special trip to the center to deliver a bag full of gifts and to help fend off the depression that some times take over at this time of year.

“We try to bring these seniors some cheer that they normally would not receive especially during the holidays,” said HSA Associate Director Darren Dunaway.

“For most of us this season is the busiest time of the year with parties and lots of shopping. For seniors, however, depression can set in due to the fact that their finances are limited, they may not be able to get to church services or may even be alone or separated from their families. So this is a big deal for them,” Dunaway said.

The El Monte High School Choir also treated the seniors at last week’s holiday celebration to a live holiday themed musical performance as they enjoyed a “scrumptious” meal.

Participating seniors receive services through an HAS program, including Care Management, Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), Alzheimer Day Care Resource Center (ADCRC), Caregiver Support program and Groups, Home-based care, Home delivered meals and congregate meals.

HSA’s mission is to “provide compassionate comprehensive care to promote wellness and build strong communities,” the group said in an emailed statement.