Hundreds of local seniors will get a special Christmas Day surprise as church volunteers will deliver teddy bears to residents of six Livingston-area nursing homes.
The public is invited to volunteer Sunday morning as members of First United Methodist Church will deliver the Christmas “prayer bears” to senior residents of The Bradford at Brookside, The Gardens at Livingston, Pine Ridge Health, Provident Memory Care, Tall Pines Assisted Living and Timberwood Nursing Home.
“This is our first time doing this and it’s something we wanted to give to the community,” said FUMC secretary Cheyenne Lusk. “Instead of just going home [after church,] we will be out singing and delivering these gifts.”
Church members started collecting the bears on the first day of Advent on Nov. 27 and have made them a big part of worship services at FUMC.
“The bears have all been prayed over, loved and blessed during church each week,” Lusk said.
“This will be special for the seniors because a lot of them won’t have their loved ones with them and they just want something soft to hug,” she added.
The church was able to exceed their original goal of 387 teddy bears, thanks to the generosity of many of its members.
“Because of all the people at our church wanting to bring extra, we now have 400 bears to give on Christmas.” said Lusk.
FUMC invites anyone who would like to volunteer during the delivery, which will begin immediately after Christmas services at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.