The holiday season has become quite a busy time for Charles Howell.
For nearly a decade, the Cullman resident has been spreading Christmas cheer at area nursing homes by delivering Christmas cards to every resident at the facilities. It's something he doesn't plan to stop doing any time soon.
"As long as the good Lord gives me the strength and help, I'll keep doing it," Howell said, who serves as a volunteer at Cullman Regional Medical Center. "Sometimes you'll go by and there will be 15-20 sitting out in the hall way. Seeing how lonely they are made me feel for them, and I just wanted to do something for them. I love to make them grin. So many of them don't have anyone here, so this makes them feel good."
Recently, Howell made his rounds, passing out cards to residents at the Cullman Health Care Center, Folsom Center, Hanceville Nursing Home, and Woodland Nursing Home. He estimated he delivered roughly 500 cards between the four facilities. However, he's not taking all the credit for the work done. He has a few helpers that assist too.
"Once I get all of the cards bought, I'll take them to area schools for the children to write Christmas messages in," Howell said. "I commend them for what they do, it's very meaningful."
He added, it's always touching to see what the children have to say year after year.
"Sometimes there are messages that are hard for me to talk about," Howell said. "It's just very touching."
Growing up, Howell said his family was poor, but loved the Lord and continued to worship on Sunday. However, he said when his parents found good jobs, their love for the lord fell by the wayside. Because of that, he said he never forgets how the Lord has blessed him.
"He's been a real blessing in my life," Howell said. "If you do things in the name of the Lord, he'll take care of you. And that's one of the reasons I continue to volunteer."
Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org