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Deliveries of love and cheer

Community: More than 50 locals visit Newhall senior home to brighten up Christmas

Posted: December 24, 2010 4:54 p.m.
Updated: December 25, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Howard Crampton, Jr. and Carsyn Ostrander, 6, prepare balloons before visiting the residents at Pacifica Senior Living in Newhall on Friday. Howard Crampton, Jr. and Carsyn Ostrander, 6, prepare balloons before visiting the residents at Pacifica Senior Living in Newhall on Friday.
Howard Crampton, Jr. and Carsyn Ostrander, 6, prepare balloons before visiting the residents at Pacifica Senior Living in Newhall on Friday.
Noella Egelsee, 4, left, gives a Christmas card to Betty Carson, 87, at Pacific Senior Living in Newhall on Friday. Local families and friends spread holiday cheer and spent time with the seniors who will spend the holiday away from their own family. Noella Egelsee, 4, left, gives a Christmas card to Betty Carson, 87, at Pacific Senior Living in Newhall on Friday. Local families and friends spread holiday cheer and spent time with the seniors who will spend the holiday away from their own family.
Noella Egelsee, 4, left, gives a Christmas card to Betty Carson, 87, at Pacific Senior Living in Newhall on Friday. Local families and friends spread holiday cheer and spent time with the seniors who will spend the holiday away from their own family.
Marie Ledyard, 93, left, receives a Christmas card from Edwin Egelsee, not pictured, at the housing center. More than 50 local residents visited and spread Christmas cheer to seniors who can’t be with their families during the holiday. Marie Ledyard, 93, left, receives a Christmas card from Edwin Egelsee, not pictured, at the housing center. More than 50 local residents visited and spread Christmas cheer to seniors who can’t be with their families during the holiday.
Marie Ledyard, 93, left, receives a Christmas card from Edwin Egelsee, not pictured, at the housing center. More than 50 local residents visited and spread Christmas cheer to seniors who can’t be with their families during the holiday.
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Toting red and green balloons, a group of 50 local families and friends Friday spread Christmas cheer to nearly 100 Newhall seniors who will spend the holiday away from their families.

“It’s something that’s little to us,” Valencia resident Deanna Rivetti, 36, said. “But huge to them.”

Howard Crampton, Jr., 30, has spent the last month volunteering at Pacifica Senior Living in Newhall, which inspired him to organize the Christmas Eve visit.

Crampton wanted to not only “give the gift of giving,” but also spread holiday cheer and teach kids the importance of giving to those in need, he said.

The effort, known as Operation Kid Brigade, was part of the Santa Clarita Basket Brigade, a local group that Crampton started last year to help feed the homeless. The project is part of the International Basket Brigade started by motivational speaker Tony Robbins.

Soon after he came up with the idea, Crampton began spreading his message, inspiring friends and family from all over the Santa Clarita Valley and Southern California to join in the Friday morning visit.

About 25 kids donning Santa hats spent the last week coloring and constructing 90 Christmas cards by hand.

Mariah Telford, 12, of Saugus, made about a dozen handmade Christmas cards with her sister and aunt. It was her way of making the seniors feel special, she said.

And it was the chance to spend Christmas Eve with her loved ones.

“It’s a day to celebrate and come together and hang out with the family,” Telford said.

Many at the assisted living home end up spending Christmas away from their family. By visiting the residents on Christmas Eve, the families wanted to show them that people care for them.

“This really just gives them a chance to interact and get the feel of the holidays,” activities assistant Joe Paez said.

As the kids delivered their cards to the seniors, Paez watched as the residents laughed and mingled with the young visitors.
“I don’t get tired of it,” Paez said. “I love seeing the smiles on the residents faces.”

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