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Assistance League of Bend makes sure ‘no one is forgotten’ with 100s of Secret Santa gifts for seniors

(Update: Adding video, comments from Assistance League of Bend, Prestige Senior Living)

'It's going to mean so much.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Volunteers were busy moving gifts and loading cars Thursday morning, getting ready to deliver Christmas presents to 17 senior care facilities across Central Oregon.

Meredith Kellogg is the chair of the Secret Santa program with the Assistance League of Bend.

“We try to make sure that no one is forgotten throughout the holiday season,” Kellogg said. 

“I love the fact that we are out in the community, we’re touching lives and that I can do one more thing. Can’t do it all, but I can do one more thing that gets us out there, makes a difference in at least one person's life.”

All 341 gifts being delivered were donated by Assistance League members or other volunteers. 

The volunteers each had an assigned care facility to deliver gifts.

NewsChannel 21 followed a group heading to Prestige Senior Living off of 27th Street in Bend.

The gifts were then lined up under the Christmas tree, to be opened on Christmas Day.

Debbie Sammut is the life enrichment director at Prestige Senior Living.

“We have a lot of (residents) who don’t have any family here, so this just makes it really special,” Sammut said. 

She and the other senior care directors provided the Assistance League with lists of items 

“It’s going to mean so much. We want them to be happy, and I think this is going to be a big thing, to have gifts,” Sammut said with a little chuckle. 

Kellogg has been with the Assistance League for seven years, and she said helping the community gets better every time.

“It's like the Grinch whose heart gets bigger and bigger,” Kellogg said. “It’s one of those fabulous things that says we can make a difference, and we are having a great time, doing the little bit that we can to make a huge difference in someone's life, and in our community.”

The Assistance League of Bend is a 21 Cares for Kids partner.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

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