Two Friends Have Surprised Over 400 Nursing Home Residents With Christmas Gifts

December 22, 2023

Today's good news story comes from Seminole, Florida.

In 2017, Barbara Rotunda and Jean Torell-McDonald, two friends from St. Petersburg, decided to spread the holiday spirit by surprising residents at Nurses Helping Hands, a local nursing home, with Christmas gifts.

Little did they know that this simple act of kindness would evolve into a heartwarming tradition and, ultimately, the creation of their nonprofit organization, Resident's Hope.

Christmas gifts for seniors
Barbara (left) and Jean (right) /

In their inaugural year, Rotunda and Torell-McDonald spent around $120 to provide Christmas gifts for 13 individuals at Nurses Helping Hands. The joy and gratitude they witnessed inspired them to embark on a more ambitious mission – to bring the magic of Christmas to as many nursing home residents as possible.

Fast forward to Christmas Day in 2022, and the dynamic duo achieved an incredible milestone. Rotunda and Torell-McDonald, through their nonprofit Resident's Hope, had the privilege of serving over 400 individuals across five different nursing home facilities. The exponential growth of their initiative was a testament to their unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those often overlooked during the holiday season.

This heartwarming success prompted Rotunda and Torell-McDonald to take their mission to the next level. In July 2023, they officially founded Resident's Hope as a nonprofit organization. Their flagship initiative, the Christmas Giving event, became the driving force behind their cause. "Our organization reaches out to nursing home facilities, compiles a list of individuals in need at each facility, shops for personalized gifts, elegantly wraps them with their signature bow, and ensures timely delivery so that residents can enjoy Christmas presents," the founders shared.

Resident's Hope has become a beacon of hope for seniors in nursing homes, offering not just gifts but a sense of community and connection during the holiday season. The organization's impact continues to grow, and the founders are determined to make each Christmas brighter for those who may otherwise be forgotten.

Visit/Support Resident's Hope here.

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