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Help Make Holiday Wishes Come True

Christmas only comes once a year, but for Scott McCall, a resident of the Good Shepherd Home Raker Center, it’s never very far from his mind. And how could it be, with one of the other residents singing Christmas songs throughout the year? And that suits Scott just fine. Scott is such a fan of the holiday at Good Shepherd, he is the first resident to submit his Holiday Wish List, always in the first week or two of June.

The resident Holiday Wish List is a time-honored tradition. Good Shepherd’s 159 residents in both the Allentown and Bethlehem homes make their wishes known, and then the shopping begins in earnest by volunteers and staff. Hundreds of wrapped presents are then passed hand-to-hand and put into Santa sacks for delivery to each resident. In Allentown, this is the much beloved Hands Down St. John Street tradition. The same tradition, Gifts Into Bethlehem, has become a bonding ritual bringing joy to staff, family and volunteers.

Wish list fulfillment is made possible in part by donors whose contributions purchase a wide variety of items ranging from body sprays and washes to gift certificates for restaurants, sports memorabilia, comforters, and much more.

Scott’s requests always include lots of CDs and DVDs reflecting his love of music and classic television shows. Scott is a big Elvis and country-western music fan. His taste in DVDs harkens back to the good old days. “I like old-time shows like Perry Mason, Howdy Doody and Johnny Carson,” says Scott. “They take me back to a simpler time.”

A resident since 1984, Scott came to live at Good Shepherd when he was 18. He likes the family feeling among residents, staff and volunteers, and finds comfort knowing that there’s always someone to talk things over with. “Friendships are important to me,” says Scott. “If I have a problem or something, I can go to the chaplain or one of the nurses.”

Scott cherishes memories of Christmases past at Good Shepherd when the late Rev. Dr. Conrad Raker was administrator. “He used to play his flute,” says Scott. “He was a kind man. I liked him very much. He was a friend to me.” Conrad also was a father figure to Scott whose own father died before Scott was born.

Scott is grateful for the love that surrounds him today, but there’s a void with Conrad’s passing in 2002 that for Scott and so many at Good Shepherd will never quite be filled. “Dr. Raker was a good person,” says Scott. “I wish there was somebody in the Raker family to take over for him.”

Donate to the Resident Holiday Wish List today by clicking here.