DSCN3159For many of us, the holidays are a heartwarming and happy occasion. For others, it can be a lonely time of year, particularly as someone ages and has little or no family, holding on to memories of years past and longing for the personal connections that make it such a special time of year. Artman, Liberty’s senior living community in Ambler, goes to great strides to ensure each resident has a joyous holiday season, thanks to what is known as “Heart’s Desire.”

(scroll to the bottom to video a fun, festive video!)

“I think it’s a really fun way for all of Artman to come together,” Katelyn McKinley, Artman’s Community Life Director said.

Heart’s Desire has been an annual event at Artman for more than 25 years. Residents are asked to list three things their hearts’ desire, some of whom many not otherwise receive a present this holiday season. Traditionally, members of the community have “sponsored” a resident and purchased one of the gifts on the list. However, this year the staff at Artman offered the community two ways to support the event. The staff rallied together to raise money through an online fundraising campaign in order to buy the presents and have a gift-wrapping party. Community members could also stick with the tradition of sponsoring an individual resident and purchase a gift themselves.

Shopping trip to Wal-Mart
Shopping trip to Wal-Mart

The online fundraising campaign was a huge success, raising nearly $1600 in four weeks! Community Life staff made several trips to the local Wal-Mart to locate the special items on the very long list of presents.

“We loved being able to personalize the gifts for the residents. If they didn’t know what they wanted, we were able to pick up stuff we knew they’d like,” Katelyn said.

Artman’s atrium was brimming with excitement and holiday cheer as “Santa’s elves” arrived with some special surprises just before Christmas. There were gifts galore for the 180 residents who call Artman home and those here for a temporary stay.

“The residents are just so cute. One woman wanted anything with dogs, so we found her a fleece blanket with dogs on it, a calendar of dogs and a sweater with a dog,” Katelyn explained. “I had no idea Marjorie has such an obsession with animals,” she said jokingly.

DSCN322290 year old Anne McBrien was delighted when she peeled back the wrapping paper, opened the box and saw inside a red velour track suit with gems decorating the collar. “I think it’s wonderful,” she exclaimed with a big smile.

Bud and Mary Fenerty moved to Artman three years ago from Northeast Philadelphia. The couple has been married for 67 years. Although they spend Christmas with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, they cherish this special occasion with their friends and neighbors. “It’s really very nice,” said Bud.

Sally Spear, longtime Artman employee and member of the Community Life team, beams when she talks about Heart’s Desire.

“This is tough time of year for some of the residents, with the losses they’ve experienced. Events like Heart’s Desire make it a little easier,” Sally said. “It’s such a nice tradition. It’s the holiday spirit. There is a lot of joy.”

Thank you to all who supported the Heart’s Desire gift-giving event through monetary and gift donations this year! We could not have done it without you. The gifts and the thought behind them have made it a very special and memorable holiday season for our residents.

Here is the list of individuals who donated to our online fundraising campaign:

  • Janet Lorenzon
  • Linda Lorenzon-Kopf
  • Tom Cuddahy
  • Andy and Roger
  • Katelyn McKinley
  • Howard J Kelly
  • Hank Pilot
  • JJ Landy
  • Marcie Macon
  • Sandra Morgan
  • Jenmarie Ostrander
  • Henry Ebner
  • Jane O’Sullivan
  • Sara Bogdnoff
  • Julz Munoz
  • Jennifer Conway
  • Lynn Bullock
  • Rebecca Michener
  • Lois and William Florig
  • Lynn Fahmy
  • Tom Harrington
  • Adele and Fred Krikory
  • Theresa Krzywicki
  • Lauren Shubert
  • Randi Timmons
  • Allison Freeman
  • Freda Berman
  • Amy Pilot
  • Meghan Kelly
  • Shelby Thome
  • Alix Eastburn
  • Pam Sands
  • Jen Pacifico
  • Patrick Hallman
  • Katherine DiLello
  • Marilyn Harrington
  • Kim Horan
  • Sally Spear
  • James L Sutton
  • Julie Cassel
  • Mary G
  • Joe Oboyle
  • Patty Ludwig
  • Beth English
  • Erin Sexton



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