GREAT KIDS: Portland high schooler stuffs stockings for senior citizens

Portland student stuffs stockings for senior citizens
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 5:13 PM EST
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PORTLAND, CT (WFSB) - Christmas is in five days, and one Portland high school senior is making sure some senior citizens aren’t forgotten.

She’s stuffing stockings to give to them, partly for her high school capstone.

This great kid is continuing what she started four years ago.

It’s crunch time for Amelia Ciarleglio.

She’s assembled a group at the Portland Library to help stuff stockings.

“I have a bunch of people coming, who I’m so thankful or are able to help stuff and wrap the gifts,” said Amelia.

Gifts that will be stuffed into these stockings are uniquely designed for senior citizens.

She started the program her freshman year, from an idea she got while on a jog near her neighborhood.

“I’m on the cross-country team. So I went running for my long run in elderly neighborhoods and was just really eerily quiet. I didn’t see many visitors. I wanted to bring some holiday cheer for people living in those communities,” Amelia said.

It’s called Silver Stockings.

The stockings are decorated to celebrate the holiday, filled with everyday items like shaving cream, for personal hygiene.

They’re also filled with gifts that help recognize the season, like Christmas puzzles and prayer shawls.

“This is what Christmas is all about,” said Shari Ciarlegio, Ameila’s mom.

Her mom Shari is one of the helpers and biggest supporters.

“All this stuff is from donations from people in town, friends and family, Cans for a Cause,” Shari said.

All the items are donated, and a majority are delivered through partners like Meals on Wheels.

Some silver stockings are dropped off in person, personally making a big impact.

“Some of the people were crying. The emotion I felt was awesome,” said Amelia.

“You really touch someone. Like you got to see it. Like the Meals on Wheels. We know the people are grateful for what we are giving them, but to see it what just a gift for us,” Shari said.

It has grown this season to include seniors in Middletown too, along with Portland.

At least 150 stockings will be made and delivered just in time for Christmas.

“Helping people is a huge passion of mine and I want to continue as I grow older,” said Amelia.

She turned her passion into a project that is helping others and spreading the true of gift of Christmas.