In The News
December 11, 2017

Salado seniors spread holiday cheer by giving Christmas cards to VA patients

A group of residents at Hidden Glen Senior Community in Salado wanted to make spirits bright this season by handing out homemade Christmas cards. The ladies who made the cards wanted to share their respect for the military and thank local veterans for their service.

They met at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple Tuesday to pass out cards to staff, patients and family members.

“We’re just a bunch of seniors, and wanted something to do for our military, so that’s what we did,” said Sandy Rudesal.

A group of 16 women started the project in early September, meeting bi-weekly in the on-site community room at Hidden Glen to make cards. Rudesal said the original plan was to send the cards to soldiers deployed overseas, but by the time they started they had missed the cutoff date to have cards turned in. Rudesal said by the time they found out it was too late to have them shipped, they already had 200 cards made.

She called the VA and spoke with Chief Chaplain Jeffrey Weir, who said he would appreciate the group bringing their cards to the hospital.

By the time they were finished, the women had made more than 400 uniquely decorated Christmas cards.

“They’re all done with love because we are all avid supporters of our military,” Rudesal said.

They met at Hidden Glen Tuesday morning to pack the cards in baskets. Before they left, the Rev. Robert Bliss, Vicar of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Salado, and the Rev. Jerry Lyle, deacon, prayed a blessing over the cards. Lyle joined Rudesal and about seven other ladies on the trip to Temple.

When they arrived at the medical center, they were met by Weir who went over the protocol for passing out the cards, then guided them throughout the facility. The group spent several hours making their way through the hospital, the domiciliary and the William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home, passing out cards to anyone who wanted one.

Weir said it’s not infrequent to have people bring cards to the veterans, but it’s always great to have them come out. He said those who received Christmas cards seemed to have their spirits lifted.

“I think they enjoy the attention,” he said. “Plus, being in a hospital’s kind of tough anyway. So in some ways, any visitors are a blessing. And of course Christmas is, especially if you’re sick, it can be a little difficult. So getting a card just brightens their day.”

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