For the past 10 years, Corine Khoury and her sons have spent their holidays providing Christmas gifts for other people.
The Khourys are continuing their tradition this year, but they are working with Roff resident Bill Kelley to make sure nursing home residents have a merry Christmas.
As organizers of the Christmas 4 Nursing Homes campaign, Khoury and Kelley are collecting gifts for more than 600 nursing home residents in Pontotoc, Garvin and Murray counties. The two are seeking financial contributions as well as donations of pillowcases, pillows and other useful gifts.
Kelley said he was trying to convince local businesses to support a gift drive for nursing home residents when he talked to Khoury, who had already started a similar project.
“It touched my heart, hers, and boom, all of a sudden it seemed like we probably needed to just join forces on this and make it work,” he said Thursday.
People who wish to donate money or gifts to the campaign can drop off their contributions at Sharpe’s Department Store, 131 W. Main in Ada. The deadline is Dec. 15, which will give organizers time to sort through the gifts and prepare to deliver them to the nursing homes.
Kelley’s group, the Billy K Band, will accept donations for the project during an acoustic show Dec. 7 at the Santa Fe Cattle Company restaurant. The band will also give acoustic concerts and distribute gifts at area nursing homes shortly before Christmas.
The Khourys’ tradition of helping others at Christmas began about a decade ago, after Khoury broke up with her ex-husband.
Following the split, Khoury decided to tackle a community service project that would teach her children how to help other people. So the family started looking for ways to make people’s Christmas a little brighter.
In the past, the Khourys have plucked angels off the Salvation Army’s Angel Trees and bought gifts for poor children, and they have sent holiday packages to soldiers in Afghanistan. But this year, the Khourys turned their attention to residents of the Ada Retirement Village.