QUAD CITIES -- Instead of opening presents this Christmas, some quad city residents chose to spend their morning handing out gifts to help warm the hearts -- and feet -- of hundreds of senior citizens.
"The thing I've known through all the years is that the one thing that they always need is socks. Especially in the winter time, especially here in the quad cities, right? When it's been so darn cold," says Candace Pittenger, organizer of the donations.
On Sunday, these socks and slippers were all brought to Hope Creek Care Center, a nursing home housing 245 residents.
"There's people that don't have visitors that come on a regular basis, so for them to get this gift, it might be the only gift that they get," says Pittenger.
She recruited a team of volunteers to make the Christmas morning delivery, but the group isn't only bringing gifts; more importantly, they're bringing smiles and conversation.
"The residents were super excited to see us, they were thrilled to see the kids, the kids definitely lit up their day," says volunteer Melissa Stanton.
Trish Hepner, another volunteer, recalls, "I met with a woman who was 104 years old and still enjoying life to the fullest. So I'm very, very grateful to be witness to that."
"Shaking hands, giving hugs, just sharing Christmas cheer. I've found when doing this -- I've done some in the past -- that I receive just as much, if not more than, these people," says Susan Collins, who also volunteered with the delivery.
For Pittenger, it's a chance to remember her own grandmother, while connecting with other residents.
"They talked about their sons or their daughters that they don't get to see very often, and some of 'em don't see them at all. That's when it really, really touches my heart that we were here to at least give them something special today."
Pittenger raised approximately $1,000 in order to buy the socks and slippers, and says she hopes to do this again next Christmas.