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Cheer offered Hale Aloha
Residents of Hale Aloha Convalescent Hospital in Ceres were the recipients of holiday cheer from generous souls when a group dropped by Friday morning with stuffed animals as gifts.

"I love it," said organizer Stacy Young of Embroidery Plus, a downtown Ceres business that spearheaded a "Drive For Love" collection effort. "That's why I wanted to do it. My heart goes out to these people."

All 46 residents received stuffed animals from the drive. Helping in the distribution were Ceres firefighters Rich Scola, Tyler Born and Rui Carapinha. Beth Hunt and granddaughter Khloe Johnson, 2, and Kim Parson and granddaughter Mylie Parson, 3, also helped out. The group visited with 20 residents gathered in the meeting room and offered reassuring words and touches. The visitors then made a room by room visit to the bedridden residents.

Edith Johnson was given three stuffed animals, the last being a stuffed bear. Khloe set everyone straight, calling it "baby" - her name for all of the toy animals.

Activities director Kevin Johnson was appreciative of the group, saying most people concentrate on toy donations for the less fortunate children in the community and overlooking seniors.

The city of Ceres Employee Action Committee will be visiting the rest home - the only one in Ceres - tomorrow with blankets and socks, said Scola.

Ceres firefighters also assisted in delivering Christmas gifts to St. Jude's Parish and the Social Services Department's foster child program.

Assisting Young in collecting the stuffed animals were Diamond Bar Arena, High Fashion Salon and the Ceres Community Center.