‘Giving Tree’ brings Botsford seniors, students together

Not long before Christmas, a group of first graders made some very special holiday memories with residents at Botsford Commons Senior Community in Farmington Hills.

Now in its sixth year, the “Giving Tree” event is still going strong. Residents, staff and families contribute toward the purchase of books for every first grade student at Botsford Elementary School in Livonia. During the event, residents found seats around the perimeter of the room, a perfect view to watch the first graders sing familiar holiday carols.

Jon Aldred for Farmington Hills City Council
Botsford Commons
Botsford Commons resident Mary Slucter, 99, talks to students about their new books. (contributed photo)

Even residents with memory impairments sang along, also smiling and excited. As the final chorus of “Jingle Bells” came to an end, a loud “HO! HO! HO!” rang out, and all the students jumped. Santa greeted everyone including 99-year-old Mary Slucter, who took the microphone and spoke to the students.

“All you children, I’m so glad you’re here today to see Santa and to see me, too, I’m 99 years old,” she said, prompting gasps from the students.

Botsford Commons
Santa received many “thank yous” from his Botsford Elementary friends. (contributed photo)

Santa told the children they were on the “nice list,” and so he had gifts for them all. After a countdown, the children all opened their personalized bags of books. They also received stuffed animals, thanks to the City of Farmington Hills, and a painting from Painting with A Twist of Farmington. Senior Helpers of Farmington Hills supported the event, as did Morrison Food Service.

Botsford Commons
Botsford Elementary first graders excitedly open their new books. (contributed photo)

Botsford Commons residents and Botsford Elementary students get together throughout the year, building intergenerational relationships. To learn more, call 248-426-6903.

Reported by