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Young at Heart reaches out to homebound seniors

by Sarah Hauck
shauck@recordcourier.com
Annette Muller fills a Christmas bag that will be distributed to homebound seniors.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

A garage in the Gardnerville Ranchos became a packing plant last week as a half dozen Young at Heart members loaded bags for homebound seniors in the Valley.

YAH packed 160 bags for seniors who are without families this Christmas season.

“Anything that we can do to help seniors in this Valley needs to be done,” YAH member John Caster said.



The bags were filled with blankets, toiletries and various quick preparing foods and candies.

The senior’s special needs were taken into consideration, using diabetic candies for the diabetics on the receiving list.



YAH makes bags for the seniors who are currently receiving Meals on Wheels

“There are so many seniors out there that have nobody,” YAH President Andrea Rajeski said. “This is our way of giving back to the community and to make sure these seniors don’t have an empty Christmas.”

For 10 years YAH has been surprising homebound seniors with the bags for Christmas.

“We’ve had some seniors that we go to that refuse them (bags) because they feel they don’t deserve them,” Rajeski said. “I’m sure there are more out there that we don’t know about. Some don’t ask for help because of their pride.”

YAH has expanded this year to not only homebound seniors, but also seniors living in the new Medicaid wing of Carson Valley Residential Care Facility.

Thirty bags will be delivered to those seniors.

“These are people that wouldn’t get anything otherwise,” Castor said.

The Kiwanis Key Club from Douglas High School will help members of YAH deliver the bags to the homebound seniors.

“The seniors that receive the stuff like to see the kids. The kids really make a fuss over them,” YAH member Paul Lockwood said. “They love it. Some of the kids will go in and the seniors won’t let go of them. They really love the kids.”

Most of the items that fill the bags are donated from businesses like Smiths, Raley’s and Walgreens.

The rest are purchased by YAH with donations made to the club.