The Christmas Lady is staying very busy these days.
Dorothy Lee, known to nursing home patients as the Christmas Lady, still needs women’s socks, body lotions, and deodorants and she needs them as soon as possible.
“With as many people as we try to help … we can’t wait until the last minute,” she said.
She’s been buying gifts for nursing home patients for 12 years. Last year, her group helped 947 people from nine nursing homes. This year, they will help even more.
People helped include the elderly, developmentally disabled and veterans. Most of the people she helps have little or no contact with their families.
She said she doesn’t mind picking up donations. Donations can be sent to 8718 Mostiller Road, Bonne Terre, MO 63628 or for more information, call 573-358-3226.
She will hand-deliver gifts to the nursing homes from Dec. 18 through Christmas, “all day on most of these days.”
This year, she will have three helpers to help her bag the items and deliver them.
On each bag, they will place a Christmas card with a note “Merry Christmas! Jesus Loves you!”
Lee said you can’t just throw items in a bag. That part takes time. What a person gets depends on their gender and their diet restrictions. Some are diabetic. Some can only eat puréed food.
Others can’t eat anything by mouth. They are normally bed-ridden and get shampoo, lotions, socks and facial tissues. This year, many will get lap throws made by Midge Dunn.
Lee said 19 of the lap throws will go to Alzheimer’s patients at St. Joe Manor. She said in that unit, the patient’s name must be written on every single item including their deodorant and lotion.
“It’s very time-consuming,” she said.
When the Associated Press picked up a Daily Journal article about Lee last year, the Bonne Terre Post Office started receiving letters addressed simply to “The Christmas Lady,” Bonne Terre, MO.
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at email@example.com.