They are our mothers, fathers, grandparents, veterans and church and community elders; they are the “Greatest Generation.” They have served all of their lives, and it is time to give back to them.
At Clermont Senior Services, we are already working on our Adopt-a-Senior holiday project. Each year we receive calls from individuals and organizations that want to help the elderly during the holidays by providing them with a gift or two. This project has grown enormously in the last few years. It seems that a lot of people really have a heart for seniors at Christmas. We’ve had a number of calls from volunteers who adopted seniors last year and want to get an early start this year. We match groups or individuals with specific requests from seniors who we know could use a little help. Gifts are delivered by Staff and Direct Service Volunteers since we do not provide full names and addresses of seniors.
The senior citizens in this year’s Adopt-a-Senior program ask for very little. They have limited resources, little or no home support and have low to moderate incomes. Some need sheets, household items, socks, shirts, pajamas, slippers, small appliances and even some just need postage stamps or puzzle books. For some of our customers, these gifts are the only gifts they will receive this year. All are overwhelmed by the generosity of our volunteers. Some laugh and some cry, but they all are appreciative and have a warm spot in their hearts from knowing that someone cared.
There are numerous requests for personal care items such as shampoo, body lotion, razors and shaving cream. Towels and sheets of all sizes are also needed. Sometimes we meet a customer who has only one bath towel, and their sheets may be torn and stained. Bed and bath linens are costly for them to replace, so the one or two they own may have to last for years. Cleaning supplies are always needed. We have a customer who was washing her dishes with shampoo because that was all she had. Items can be donated to our gift pantry without adopting a specific person and collecting these items can be a great group project. Only new items, snacks or boxed candy are accepted as we do not accept fresh fruit, groceries or live plants.
If a group or individual would like to donate one large gift or a gift card towards purchasing a larger item, we always have seniors that could use a microwave or a vacuum cleaner. Please purchase items that are simple to use and do not take up much counter space.
One customer is in need of a television set, as her TV is on the blink and it is over 20 years old. This is her only source of entertainment and she cannot afford a new one. For her, a television is the only connection she has to the outside world; it is not a luxury for her, but a necessity.
A note sent from customer June from last year’s Adopt-a-Senior program says it all: “I will never forget this season and maybe someday I can give to someone in need as you all did for me. It was a dream come true, I was overwhelmed with everything; I cried happy tears all day. It was the most wonderful day in my life!”
If you or your group has an interest in helping out a senior citizen with a holiday gift, please call Jeanne Siegel, Volunteers and Communications Manager at 513-536-4021.