Having four children and the responsibility of rearing kind, wonderful, honest, responsible human beings was Patricia Gallagher’s life. She loved being a mother. When her kids moved away from home, she felt her life was falling apart. She thought there was nothing she could do about it…until 4000 stuffed animals transformed it!
Twenty months ago, Philadelphia area writer Patricia Gallagher, asked her 85 year-old mother and college-age daughter to go with her to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to residents of two nursing homes. To make the dramatic reading of the story fun, she gathered lots of colorful props to go along with the story – Christmas stockings, gingerbread ornaments, stuffed animals and holiday afghans and quilts.
“Stories for Seniors” is a simple volunteer concept that changed Patricia Gallagher’s life. So far, more than 65 senior healthcare facilities have received visits from Gallagher. And, the readers of Craig’s List collected 4000 stuffed animals and blankets for her to give to the lonely and discouraged folks she meets in nursing homes, AIDS hospices and hospitals.
Each stuffed animal, says Gallagher, sends a vital message to the recipient, “Someone cares.”