Seniors benefit from Local 1101's generosity Making holidays brighter

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Local 1101 is making the holidays brighter for a different generation of Minnesotans this year. Members collected four cars full of slippers, plaid shirts, puzzles, coffee makers and other donated gifts for senior citizens living in the Twin Cities area.

The donations were dropped off at Gifts for Seniors which coordinates donated gifts and visits to isolated seniors, many living alone and without family members or friends in the metropolitan area. Local 1101 has a long history of community service and many of its projects involved helping children and families through the Toys for Tots program, which the local continued to support this year.  

Local 1101 holiday donations for seniors

In the photo on the right, Local 1101 members are pictured along with some of the hundreds of presents they donated to Gifts for Seniors.

“Seniors are often forgotten,” explained Susan Keifer, a rehabilitation career counselor with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), as a reason for her participation this year.

“My father is in a care facility and I see people there who don’t have anything,” added DEED’s Mary Reis.

Local 1101 Vice President Halie Rostberg, who organized the donation drive, attributed part of its success to opening it up to the entire Dept. of Corrections central office in St. Paul, and including AFSCME, Middle Management Association and other unions.

“It seemed like people had a more personal -- more emotional -- interest. It really resonated to people to give back to isolated seniors who aren’t going to get a present anywhere else,” said. 

Halie Rostberg donates gifts for seniors

In the photo on the left, from left to right, Gifts for Seniors’ Maureen Marrin and Local 1101 Vice President Halie Rostberg compare slipper donations from the local.

“My grandparents were very supported -- they had a lot of family and friends around. I like Gifts for Seniors because caseworkers and nurses choose the presents for their seniors and then the gifts are personally delivered to them,” added Rostberg.

Gifts for Seniors’ Maureen Marrin said the organization appreciates Local 1101’s contributions, “MAPE’s donations mean that we get to serve more people, and we know how important this is to the seniors who receive the gifts and the personal visits.”

Rostberg said her fellow members are already discussing additional ways to volunteer with Gifts for Seniors next year. For more information about this nonprofit organization, click