Imperial Gardens Residents Exchange Gifts and Joy During Holiday Season
IMPERIAL, CA - To get into the holiday season, residents from Imperial Gardens Apartments in Imperial County gathered together to share food, smiles, and gifts! On December 15th, PSCDC Resident Services Coordinator Suzette Mardueno held the community's first winter celebration. The occasion featured a gift-exchange and potluck party for residents that attended Suzette's services throughout the year and became the first winter celebration at Imperial Gardens. Community building events like these are hosted alongside senior-focused resident services that Suzette offers every week for the community. Classes for ESL, computer literacy, and arts and crafts are offered regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays simultaneously with other services like senior companionship, food distributions, and community building. Active residents attending the biweekly ESL, computer literacy, and arts and crafts classes expressed the idea of a gift exchange as an exciting reason to spend time with friends and neighbors, socialize, and celebrate the holiday season!
The gift exchange rules followed the traditional "Secret Santa" game, with participants pulling names from a cup. Along with their names, participants also wrote down a list of stores that they were interested in to help their gift giver. PSCDC's Imperial Director of Services Luz Vallejo and property manager Sunnie stopped by to talk to residents and join in the fun with their own gifts to exchange! Gift cards were exchanged between participants, with some residents even adding pieces of candy and personalized cards. The total number of participants for Imperial Gardens' first winter gift exchange was 18 people.
The event was filled with holiday cheer as gifts weren't the only thing shared. Everyone brought their own delicious dish, sweet treat, or tasty beverage to the potluck! Luz and Suzette brought pancakes and fruit to share, while residents brought homemade chorizo and egg burritos, chile and egg, shredded beef tacos, chilaquiles, fruit buñuelos, desserts, champurrado, and hot chocolate.
"This event was to celebrate a year of friendships and community," remarked Luz. "It was organized for the participants of our PSCDC program, and it was a way to close the year. We laughed, took pictures, and talked about how grateful we were for waking up every morning and being healthy. We can say it was a small gathering but with a lot of holiday spirit."