Homeless Shelter & Senior Communities Partner for Unique Holiday Project in 2018

Mankato, Minn. – Three area senior living communities have partnered with two of Mankato’s homeless shelters and Freedom Home Care to wrap holiday gifts donated to families experiencing a temporary housing crisis.

Gift Wrapping Schedule:

Oak Terrace Assisted Living – 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, December 11th

Primrose Retirement Community – 1 to 3 p.m., Tuesday, December 11th

New Perspective Senior Living – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday, December 12th

Every year Partners for Affordable Housing, (PAH) parent agency for Mankato’s two homeless shelters (Theresa House and the Welcome Inn), coordinates the distribution of holiday gifts to nearly 40 homeless families in our region. Gifts are purchased through the generosity of local donors and wrapped by volunteers.

“The holidays are a particularly stressful time for families experiencing homelessness.  It’s really amazing to see how so many people are willing to come together to help us provide happy memories this Christmas season,” said Jen Theneman, Executive Director at Partners for Affordable Housing. “Our mission is to help people become housed and to sustain that for the long term.  Saving their money to pay rent and utilities keeps them housed, and through the generosity of individuals, groups, churches and business, they can also enjoy special things and know that many in the community cares. This is what the magic of Christmas is all about.”

For the fifth year, senior living community residents will wrap the donated gifts. Partners for Affordable Housing will deliver the unwrapped gifts and serve as assistants to the senior wrappers.  All wrapped gifts will be distributed to families during the days preceding the Christmas holiday.  In addition to coordinating the events, Freedom Home Care provides the wrapping supplies and treats for the three participating communities.

In 2014 Christine Nessler, Co-Owner and Community Outreach for Freedom Home Care, heard about PAH’s need for volunteers. Through her connections to local senior communities, Nessler knew that these residents were looking for meaningful community engagement. A unique and fun project was born.

“Partners for Affordable Housing needed volunteers and senior living communities have people eager to help, so it just made sense to coordinate that partnership,” said Nessler. “We were so happy to be able to help in this small way because we know just how important Partners for Affordable Housing is for our community.”

“Allowing our residents to be able to volunteer and give back to the community gives them a sense of purpose,” said Amy Liffrig, Executive Director of New Perspectives. “They enjoy helping out those in need.” Residents of New Perspective Senior Living assisted with the gift wrapping last year and look forward to participating again this year.

Freedom Home Care is also coordinating a “Toiletries and More Drive” in partnership with the three participating senior living communities during the month of December. Donated items should be unused and can include soaps, lotions, tooth brushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, etc… Donations can be dropped off in Mankato during weekdays (excluding holidays) at:

Freedom Home Care at 101 North Second Street, Suite 100 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

New Perspective Senior Living at 100 Dublin Road between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Oak Terrace Assisted Living (for residents and staff only)

Partners for Affordable Housing at 151 Good Counsel Drive between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (Monday and Wednesday) and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Friday)

Primrose Retirement Community at 1360 Adams Street between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*Items can be dropped off Monday to Friday until December 28 (excluding holidays).

Community members interested in donating to Partners for Affordable Housing to help families experiencing homelessness should contact PAH’s Executive Director at 507.387.2115, ext. 2.

Learn more about Partners for Affordable Housing.