Stewartstown family brings early Christmas to senior center

Margarita Cambest
York Dispatch

When asked what she wanted for Christmas this year, Anne-Marie Wolfe and her sisters came up with an idea. Instead of receiving gifts, the 12-year-old wanted to give them.

“Daddy, we have everything,” Brandon Wolfe recalled his daughter saying just after Thanksgiving. “There’s nothing that we need, so we want to give our money away.”

Anne-Marie Wolfe, 12, of Stewartstown, passes out a handful of gift bags to residents at the White Rose Senior Center, during a special Christmas celebration Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. Asked what she'd like for Christmas, Anne-Marie chose to do something for the people at White Rose Senior Center.  Amanda J. Cain photo



Last year, Rylee said, the girls were given “typical teenage girl things,” but this year’s request was a little different.

“We get a lot throughout the year, even if it’s not Christmas, so we were pleased to give to other people and not get,” Rylee said.

As well as handing out gift bags to the members of White Rose Senior Center, Rylee Wolfe, middle, 13, serves food alongside employee Maria Becker, left, of Jackson Township, during a special Christmas celebration Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, at the center. Amanda J. Cain photo



So the Wolfe sisters started collecting — hats and gloves for men, hats and scarves for women, books and clementines. The word spread fast. Neighbors donated money to purchase gifts, and local stores contributed, as well.

With three days to go, Beasley’s neighbor Darla Ritter wrapped and packaged 100 gift bags and 10 sweaters. Ritter and her daughter, 7-year-old Danielle Ritter, also came to the center to help deliver the gifts.

Danielle Ritter, 7, of Mount Wolf, hands a gift bag to Glenn Smith, of Shiloh, during a special christmas celebration Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, at the White Rose Senior Center. The plan to hand out 100 gift bags was organized by the Wolfe sisters, Hailey, Rylee and Anne-Marie. Amanda J. Cain photo



“That is the most unselfish thing for children,” said 62-year-old Beth Cassell, who has been going to the day center for a year with her sister Millie May, 63. “It lets you know how well they’re raised. It goes to show that there’s still loving and caring people that are about the older people in society.”

Their friend Mary Carter, 78, agreed.

“They know it’s more of a blessing to give than to receive,” she said.