Spreading Christmas Cheer to Seniors: Christmas for Seniors

Helping with the project is Saint Matthew School in Mayfair, which organizes a drive every year to fill the stockings.

Lare and Schneider: From l to r, sisters Doris Lare and Rose Marie Schneider are in their fourth year of organizing Christmas for Seniors. MELISSA KOMAR / STAR FILE PHOTO

Doris Lare first noticed how underappreciated seniors are when she worked as a custodian in a nursing home.

“When I was there, very few of the seniors got visitors around the holidays,” she told the Star. “I wished there was something we could do.”

So Lare, with the help of her sister, Rose Marie Schneider, started Christmas for Seniors, a program that works to stuff stockings for seniors during the holidays and present them at local nursing homes. They started four years ago giving stockings to all 296 residents of Immaculate Mary Nursing Home in Holme Circle. They’ve since expanded to include residents of Fishtown’s Penn Home and Port Richmond’s Nativity Place. Helping with the project is Saint Matthew School in Mayfair, which organizes a drive every year to fill the stockings.

“Around the holidays, everybody’s giving to the children,” Lare said. “Our seniors often get forgotten. Especially those who don’t have relatives living anymore. We enjoy being able to brighten up their Christmas and bring a smile to their faces during the holidays.”

Lare encouraged people to donate things like full-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, pens, candies, cologne, perfume, razors, shaving cream and decks of cards.

As of right now, Christmas for Seniors has four drop-off locations, one at Eileen’s Hair Salon at 2574 Memphis St. in Fishtown, another at Summerfield United Methodist Church at the corner of E. Dauphin and Tulip streets in Kensington, another at St. George’s Church at the corner of Salmon and Venango Streets in Port Richmond and the last one at Penn Internal Medicine at 7133 Roosevelt Boulevard in Mayfair.

“My sister and I are in our 50s, and one thing that we remember growing up is our stockings with toiletries and maybe one or two other surprises in it,” Lare said. “If the stockings are nostalgic for us, maybe it is for them as well.”

For more information regarding picking up or dropping off donations, you can reach out to Lare at 215–694–4017 or her sister, Rose Marie Schneider, at 215–880–0859.