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Santa’s workshop comes to Resthaven

One Resthaven resident is single handedly bringing Christmas spirit to life, by hand-painting locally made wooden toys to donate to children in need.

90-year-old Colin James and his daughter Kaye painting presents to donate to the Salvation Army (Source: Resthaven)
90-year-old Colin James and his daughter Kaye painting presents to donate to the Salvation Army (Source: Resthaven)

90-year-old Colin James, who resides at South Australian aged care provider Resthaven’s Malvern facility, has been busy bringing the toys to life as a way of connecting to his past as a real ‘Mr Fix It’ and giving back.

His daughter, Kaye, delivers the toys to the facility, and will also donate them to the Salvation Army on behalf of Mr James when the painting is complete.

Julie Johinke from Resthaven says it is important for residents to participate in activities close to their hearts.

“Engaging in an enjoyable activity that also gives back to the community gives a feeling of contributing to the community, a feeling of accomplishment and occupation,” she explains.

“There are multiple benefits - positive feelings improve mood and sense of fulfilment, using fine motor skills to keep mobile, and being valued.”

She adds that other residents across multiple other Resthaven sites are also digging deep and bringing forth their Christmas spirit - with just under a month until the big day.

“Each year Resthaven aged care homes and services support multiple charities through items donated under their Christmas trees.

“Resthaven Westbourne Park resident Mrs Zoanetti knitted baubles for the Mitcham Village green last year, and this year our Independent Retirement living residents collectively made hundreds of items for Samaritan's Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’,” Ms Johinke explains.

“A Packing Day in October saw another group of retirement residents gathered at Resthaven Bellevue Heights to pack together the hundreds of items donated for ‘Shoe Boxes of Love’ to distribute to underprivileged children in overseas countries.”

Ms Johinke says Mr Johns is slowly working to have ten toys painted and donated before Christmas.

His daughter Kaye says the task has been greatly beneficial for her dad.

“So far, we’ve painted a couple of wooden jeeps, caravans, and a semi-trailer. A tractor is next,” she says.

“I help dad with the windows – they’re a bit fiddly – but dad does the rest.

“The project really keeps dad alert and interested.”

Kaye says she will collect the toys from her dad, wrap them, and personally drop them off to the Salvation Army for their Christmas Tree Collection.

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