The Townie Santa program will continue on this year after being fully revived in 2019 by the Bunker Hill Associates, with the operation and delivery taking place on Dec. 19.
Townie Santa is a collaboration between the Associates and the City’s AgeStrong Commission that seeks to identify elderly shut-ins and deliver them a box of supplies and a hot meal for the holidays. This year, that will take place on Dec. 19 and will run out of the Knights of Columbus Hall this year.
“Townie Santa is keeping alive the long-time tradition here and adds Christmas cheer to the elderly residents who are shut-ins…The elderly are sometimes easily forgotten and one thing great about Charlestown is the elderly are not forgotten here. They are a top priority for the Associates and this mayor has always made the seniors a priority since day one.”
Mary Beth Kelly of AgeStrong said she and Meaghan Murray, of Golden Age Center, as well as Paul Sullivan of Ferrin Street and other partners like the Kennedy Center, have identified the numbers of shut-ins this year, and that number is already at 150. Added to that is the fact that many, she said, are not able to leave the house at all due to the pandemic.
“It’s been very hard on them,” she said. “They can’t go anywhere at all. We did this for Christmas last year and we did it for Thanksgiving this year. We’ll keep it going for Christmas this year.”
The Townie Santa operation has roots that go way back to the Scalli family, and then was picked up by the Conway family and the Bunker Hill Associates. It had been on hiatus a little while, but got revived last Christmas.
Mahoney said it was fortunate in many ways they got that organization back in action as it was critical for their grocery delivery effort during the COVID-19 surge last spring – a program supported by the Boston Resiliency Fund and generous private donors to deliver groceries to the elderly.
The operations will run out of the Knights on Dec. 19, but Kelly and Mahoney said to pay close attention to the social media page for details about volunteering to drive and deliver. They are still seeking volunteers to drive delivery routes in the Town that day, and noted that anyone identified for a delivery will have prior knowledge of that. The operation due to COVID will include simply getting a call in the Knights’ parking lot, having the deliveries placed in the car, and then dropping them at the designated address and knocking. There is no contact with those receiving the deliveries.
To get involved, contact [email protected] or call Meaghan Murray at the Golden Age: (617) 635-5175.