NILES - Santa's helpers made a couple of early deliveries on Friday.
Area college students surprised Shepherd of the Valley residents in Warren and Niles with special gifts that they hand-selected as part of their community service project.
"I was shocked," said Audrey Sheffler, 82, of the delivery. "I never expected anything like this. It certainly was nice of them."
Tribune Chronicle / Bonnie L. Hazen
Crystal Turnbull, a student of surgical technology from the Youngstown campus of National College, gives a present Friday to Shepherd of the Valley resident Audrey Sheffler, 82, of Niles. The students chose to donate presents to residents who do not have local families.
Students from the surgical technology program at National College, Youngstown campus, chose gifts such as candy, treats, crossword puzzle books, body spray and other items in addition to a special gift chosen for each resident. Scarves, gloves, blankets and other accessories also were added to ensure each resident had things they needed as well as wanted.
The recipients chosen do not have family living in the area.
Sheffler said the contents of the packages definitely will be a surprise since she didn't make a Christmas list this year.
"They really enjoyed doing this, even though everyone goes home teary-eyed," said surgical technology director Debra Romeo.
The students will earn an associate degree in applied sciences upon graduation and are required to perform community service as part of their studies.
Past projects have included a glove campaign for the battered women shelters and local food drives, and Romeo said the students choose a different facility each time.
In Warren, students and staff from different programs at Ross Medical Education Center in Niles dropped off 42 gifts for the residents at Washington Square Nursing Home.
Betty Bennett, activities director at the nursing home, said the gifts were greatly appreciated and were given to the residents by Santa Claus and the elves when they stopped at the nursing home.