With full hearts, seniors give and receive

Yes, it’s getting close to that time of year. Photo submitted by Socks for Seniors

A couple days ago, I looked at my calendar and—oops—it’s only two months until the Christmas and Hanukah seasons. That might sound scary, but it’s not too late to plan or develop a “giving” project. Here are two programs that have recently crossed my desk—one from a facility and another from a private endeavor. There’s still time for your organization to give back before the cold, snowy days and nights arrive.

Giving a fresh start to the homeless

Families, staff and residents at Port Chester Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Port Chester, New York, help the Dobbs Ferry Midnight Run, a volunteer outreach program that provides food, clothing, and other necessities to area homeless. Port Chester’s Director of Therapeutic Recreation Lillian Teska heard about the great assistance that Midnight Run provides and met with Midnight Run’s director at the Rye Rotary Group.

She introduced the program to staff and resident families and they have enthusiastically supported this mission by collecting men’s dress shirts. When going on job interviews, these gentleman look good and, most importantly, feel good and confident.

“We are so happy to participate in this worthwhile cause,” Teska says. “ We believe it is important to be an active member of the community, helping and giving back to others.”

Cozy toes for LTC residents

Have you heard of Socks for Seniors? This annual community service drive began in Columbus, Ohio, in 2002 and has grown across America. Socks, whether practical or fun and funky, are collected and then distributed to the homebound elderly, nursing home residents and even the homeless to warm their hearts and feet.

Socks for Seniors originator Jamie Coyne and his wife have spearheaded the program since it began. Not only can you request that your nursing home residents receive socks, you might want to consider this as a project for your assisted living or independent seniors who love to knit. Coyne says facilities can register to receive socks and volunteers can sign up to begin their collections at www.socksforseniors.com.

Be creative. Some organizations have hosted “sock hops” for a fun and engaging donation project. And is it worthwhile? As Emma Mae, a nursing home resident commented when choosing a brightly colored pair of striped toe socks, “We’re just old, not dead and we still have a sense of humor. I want those!”

Go to the website and check out the program, register your nursing home or request a kit on how to participate in donating.

Share your “Good Stuff.” Send information on your achievements, outstanding personnel, inspirational residents, and more to Executive Editor Sandra Hoban at shoban@iadvanceseniorcare.com.

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