Homebound seniors receive Christmas bags
December 7, 2012
In a precision assembly line Thursday, close to a dozen Young At Heart members filled 130 grocery bags with love.
The Christmas gift bags will be distributed to homebound seniors from Topaz Ranch Estates, to South Lake Tahoe, to Jacks Valley Road.
Filled with community donations of wash clothes, towels, mittens, scarves, hygiene products, playing cards and food, for some of the recipients it’s the only Christmas gift they receive.
“I like to see the joy on their faces when they open the door,” Marion Barritt said. “For many of them it’s their only Christmas present, and more than that it’s contact with people who really care.”
For the Young At Heart president, the gift bags are also personal.
“My mother passed away two years ago, and she loved to receive the gift bags,” she said. “It was so much fun for her to go through and see all the goodies.”
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Chairwoman Annette Muller enjoys seeing the smiles on the seniors’ faces when they receive their bags.
“They love these packages. They don’t get out, and it’s us just saying hello,” she said. “They’re all so gracious. They smile and give you a hug. They are all so elated.”
The Christmas gift bags project was started in 1997 by Douglas County Senior Center employees. The first year they delivered 30 bags.
Young At Heart took over the project 10 years ago, and recruited the Douglas High School Key Club to help deliver them. Gardnerville Elementary students also pitch in by craeting handmade Christmas cards for each bag.
“The seniors love to have the high schoolers come in. They make a fuss over them,” club member Paul Lockwood said. “The Key Club is a fantastic group of kids. They are the cream of the crop at the high school.”
Young At Heart collects donations for the bags all year at the senior center with a big push in November.
“What I think is amazing is once the word gets out we are doing this, the community participation is unbelievable,” Lockwood said.
The bags will be delivered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.