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December 17, 2008 > 'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season

Submitted By Evelyn LaTorre

A bit of happiness and good cheer was spread among Fremont recipients from age six days to 94 years old when 326 gifts were donated, wrapped and delivered last Wednesday by the 32 educators of Zeta Alpha chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG). DKG is a women educator's honor society with 115,000 members in 16 countries.

One hundred and one gifts went to the elderly residents of the Hillside Care Center, a skilled nursing facility on Mission Blvd. in Fremont. Twenty-four colorful lap blankets were made by Zeta Alpha members over the summer for residents of the nursing home. Every resident also received a "reindeer bag" that contained two pairs of tube socks, a comb, lotion and soap. In addition, some bags contained jewelry, picture frames, calendars and scarves. Residents still need slipper socks. Decorative paper bags that looked like reindeer were made by second graders in Sherea Westra's class at Niles Elementary School. Unique Christmas cards for the residents were made by Jennifer Cunningham's second grade class at Mission San Jose Elementary School.

Two hundred and twenty-five gifts were also delivered to men, women and children at the Tri-City Homeless Shelter.

The entire service project has been coordinated for ten years by Shelley Bartley. Shelley and her good friend Carol Lamb did all the work for the first five years until the educator group began assisting them over the past five years. Shelley, and the Zeta Alpha chapter president, Dr. Evelyn LaTorre, delivered the 326 gifts this year. At the Hillside Care Center they were assisted by Ruby Solarzano, Activities Director and her assistants Jagroop Kaur and Carmen. Both the Shelter and the Care Center welcome volunteers to interact with residents.

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