While the holidays are a joyful time for most, they can be far from merry for many elderly and disabled people. They can bring back memories of loved ones lost, increase stress, and create or intensify feelings of loneliness and depression.
But luckily, organizations throughout the country are going above and beyond to help keep the season bright for the elderly and disabled, and Harmony customers are no exception. In fact, the work Harmony customers are doing to spread joy and merriment this year has blown us away, so we’re sharing four of our favorite stories below.
- Washington County CARES Aging and Disability Resource Center makes a point to spread holiday cheer to the older adults they serve by providing them each with a cookie bag. The staff and volunteers work together to prepare the cookies, divvy them up into individual gift bags and then pass them on to the case workers and home delivered meal drivers who distribute them. To bring joy to older adults who are without family, friends, or informal supports, staff have a special “Giving Tree.” Each ornament contains the name of an older adult and the item(s) they need/want. Staff members voluntarily take a name off the tree and purchase the item.
- The West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services makes Christmas day special for citizens of Lewis County by furnishing a full course meal at the county senior center. Volunteers work together to cook, serve, deliver, clean up, and coordinate the annual event. Special efforts are made to deliver to go boxes to those who aren’t able to make it into the center.
- Spectrum Generations ensures homebound adults receive a hot meal and a festive ornament with its annual Meals on Wheels Ornament Project. The agency works with volunteers at local schools and organizations to make hundreds of handcrafted ornaments. Business and individuals then donate $4 per ornament to help spread holiday cheer to homebound adults.
- The Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc leads a “White Christmas” drive to collect paper goods and other supplies to donate to a local charity. Additionally, a division of the agency gave up their annual internal gift exchange in favor of adopting a family of five and providing them with gifts and food.
Is your organization doing something to help others this holiday season? We’d love to hear about it. Please share in our comments section.