HOUSTON — Heartis Senior Living Clear Lake launched a toy drive for children stuck in Shriners Hospital this Christmas.

People can bring one toy in exchange for a ticket to free breakfast and photos with Santa from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 14 at 14520 Old Galveston Road in Webster.  Anyone willing to donate but unable to attend is welcome to give toys through Amazon, the living center’s lifestyle program director said.

Handwritten signs announced the drive on Facebook. For the seniors, it is about giving thanks.

“I think it will make them happy and let them know that we haven’t forgotten them and that they are taken care of and loved,” said Eva, a resident.

On Halloween, others delivered love. Children lined up and trick-or-treated inside Heartis. They left retired NASA contractor Linda Wenzel a feeling she hesitated to share but repeated.

“They just make you feel young,” she said. “They just make you feel young.”

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Some residents live with dementia. Others have Alzheimer’s disease. Staff members insist, though, all know why they want people to donate toys.

“Some of them can’t remember if they had lunch (when kids visited on Halloween, but) they sure can remember the fact that those kids were here,” said Becky Hudson, Lifestyle Manager for Heartis Clear Lake. “They still talk about it.”

Christmas Day, one busload will return the favor by delivering all toys collected on behalf of their senior living center.

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