NC woman collecting Christmas gifts for seniors displaced by Matthew


LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – Nellie Montes hopes to bring positivity and happiness this Christmas to seniors 65 and older who suffered losses in Hurricane Matthew.

Many of them are living in motels. They lost their homes, heirlooms and even medication.

She said volunteering on Thanksgiving to help feed Hurricane Matthew victims living in motels on Thanksgiving made her want to give seniors Christmas gifts as well.

She began collecting gifts at the beginning of December for what she calls the Elder Tree.

Montes said, “It just tugged at my heart. Out of the disaster. Out of the storm. How about let’s bring something positive. Like a gift. Everyone likes a gift.”

She hopes to collect enough comfort items, like pajamas and socks, to make sure each senior citizen that lost everything after Hurricane Matthew has a Christmas gift this year.

Montes says her Grandparents helped raise her and she wants to honor their lives by making sure elders know they are appreciated and not forgotten this holiday season.

Montes explained, “I don’t have them anymore. But I still have love. There are so many people that don’t have anybody, especially the elderly community. They deserve the respect and the love that we have.”

Suggested Elder Tree Donations:

  • pajamas in all sizes (especially larger sizes like XL, XXL, and 3X)
  • bedroom shoes
  • socks
  • gloves
  • hats
  • blankets
  • hygiene products
  • gift bags

Montes hopes to make about 200 gift bags for the Elder Tree by Dec. 20.

If Montes has extra gift bags she plans to give the Meals on Wheels participants gifts from the Elder Tree.

To donate items to the Elder Tree, email, call (91) 736-1177 or go to the Facebook page.

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