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Across the country, hope and love are themes which continue to counter the crime and apathy that has gripped different social groups. An organization called HOPE has decided to share love with senior citizens in Punta Gorda. Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Paul Mahung: “A special Christmas celebration was held yesterday afternoon for Senior Citizens in Punta Gorda. The Annual Christmas season event for Senior citizens here was organized by HOPE( Helping Older People Equally Organisation). During opening segment of the program: prayers were offered by father Matt of St. Peter Claver Parish, welcoming remarks by Rosita Williams and a moment of silence in memory of recently deceased Senior citizens here was officiated by HOPE Member Ramona Caratella. Guest speaker was HOPE’s Chairperson Nurse Fransisca Salam Choc.”

Chairperson Nurse Fransisca Salam Choc: “Another year has passed by and we at HOPE continue to keep our commitment to you. Since 2001 HOPE Toledo has been serving the Senior  citizens of Toledo for the past 17 years. Its HOPE’s vision to maintain programs that will demonstrate equity in culture, age and gender. HOPE aims to improve the lives of older people in Toledo. Through HOPE’s programs approximately 200 Senior Citizens of Toledo have access to services that addresses their social, health, dietary and housing needs. 2018 has been a very successful and blessed year for our organization. In April of this year a Jeep was donated to us through us through Loyola Foundation of the USA. This donation came as a huge helps for the Meals and Wheels Program and as some of you may know the Meals and Wheels program deliver warm healthy meals twice weekly to homebound elders in our community.

Paul Mahung: “Other speakers included Vice Chairpersons, retired Matron Shirley Mahung, Reverend Bernard Duncan of Toledo Methodist Circuit and Nurse Joan Avila who gave the vote of thanks. Entertainment including Christmas songs were provided by Emily Ramirez and an activity scene by children of the Sediellite Ministry. There after a hearty Christmas lunch was served and Santa Clause gave out Christmas gifts and other goodies to each of the 175 golden citizens present while Miss Clause visited and delivered Christmas gifts to elderly shut ins in Punta Gorda. The Christmas bruk down music added cheers and joy to the event as some of the elderly along with Santa danced while others warmly greeted those present. During parting time there were joyful and emotional moments as the golden citizens verbally echoed heartfelt gratitude to: HOPE organization volunteers and Santa and Miss Clause who made it memorable and meaningful 16th Annual HOPE Christmas event for Seniors a reality. Paul Mahung Toledo Correspondent Love News.