by Jessica Lamb
SADLY perhaps Proserpine's most heart-warming Christmas story begins with loss.
Local girl Kata Bujna's vivid memory of her late grandmother's joy every time she visited her in the Bowen Nursing Home was the driving factor behind her home-grown Christmas project.
Last year Kata organised Christmas presents for the Bowen Nursing Home after hearing about a few residents who had limited contact with loved ones.
This year it was Proserpine's turn.
The community responded by donating to three collection points at Real Estate Vision, Whitsunday Counselling and Support and the Proserpine Community Centre.
Kata filled in the rest by buying gifts with her own hard earned cash.
A waitress when she isn't a community advocate, Kata and her elves wrapped around 95 gifts, hand wrote Christmas cards with illustrations for the elderly and decorated gifts with blue ribbon and baubles for the men and pink for the women.
Last Friday, the gifts were distributed to Proserpine Nursing Home residents and staff were overwhelmed by the Christmas spirit.
Proserpine Nursing home Lifestyle co-ordinator Carmen Lanham said people going into a nursing home didn't always get to choose where they ended up.
"A lot of our residents have family quite a distance away,” she said.
"We try to do as much as we can to fill the gaps but it is awesome to see the community so generous.”
"We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone involved.”
Kata however, just wants to make sure nobody is left out at Christmas time, especially not because of their age or whether or not they have family nearby.
"It's really important to cherish and care about the elderly because we have so much to learn from them and their stories,” she said.
"Christmas time is for giving not receiving.”