CRESTVIEW — Members of the First Baptist Church of Crestview continued their annual tradition of providing a Christmas store for the residents of the Crestview Manor.
"They have blessed us tremendously and made our hearts smile," said resident Vicki Ripley.
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Ripley was one of nearly 40 residents in the assisted living facility who picked out free presents for family members and friends who visit during the holidays.
"We have been doing this since 1985, the year the manor opened," Ida Faye Powell, the event organizer, said. "This is just a way for us to give to the residents, who don't have the money to buy gifts or get out and buy the gifts...for family members or friends."
The store featured gift items for men, women and children. From toys to jewelry items and tool sets, each resident was able to pick out at least four items to give to visiting family members.
Church members donated many of the items in the store, along with money saved in the church's budget, Powell said.
The women's ministry of the church headed the event with assistance from youth in the Acteens group, who wrapped each gift in Christmas wrapping paper and delivered the gifts to the residents' rooms.
After volunteering with the store on behalf of the church in the past, current resident Neta Roberts is now on the receiving end.
'It feels fine, not as good as being the giver, but I love it," she said. "I hope they always have this going on, because some are not as fortunate as others."
The facility's activities director, Susan Josey, agreed.
"It's a wonderful, wonderful thing that they are doing," she said. "Without this, residents would not be able to give presents to their friends and family."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.