The Salvation Army has donated unique gifts to Black Hills area retirement homes

RAPID CITY, SD — Every year around Easter, Salvation Army Community Care Ministries honors area seniors by donating creative care packages to Black Hills area nursing homes.

“Every spring we ask them what gifts might be on their wish list for their establishment,” said Major Vangie O’Neil, an officer with the Rapid City Corps. “Requests range from art supplies, puzzles and games for social events, to nail polish, chocolate and even a raised garden bed!”

Black Hills Salvation Army Ministry intern Bailey Sawka shows off a requested raised garden bed at the Belle Estate Senior Living Center in Belle Fourche, SD. Lindsey Sainsbury, director of the Belle Estate Senior Living Center, accepts the gift. Photos courtesy of The Salvation Army.

Community Care Ministries stays in touch with area nursing homes year-round to learn about residents’ needs to improve their quality of life. They reach out to support and encourage residents in practical and meaningful ways; including telephone calls, individual visits, individual Christmas gifts each year and gifts for the entire facility each spring.

This spring, they made donations to 29 Black Hills area care facilities in Rapid City, New Underwood, Sturgis, Hot Springs, Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Whitewood and Lead.

“It’s a special time to get something for the whole house that everyone can enjoy and enjoy together. Obviously we can buy something bigger for the whole house. I know when we delivered the bed of raised garden, the lady said they would love it,” O’Neil said. “It’s important to us to let them know someone is thinking of them and they aren’t forgotten.”

Community care ministries also conduct hospital rounds, send cards to deployed military personnel, and have a motorcycle ministry. They are always looking for volunteers and if you would like to help with their projects, you can call Angie Mason at 605-791-4045.

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