At this time of year, there are lots of toy drives and secret Santa type programs to ensure all the area youngsters have a nice Christmas. Especially the ones who wouldn’t get a single present under the tree if not for the kind generosity of strangers.
Don’t get us wrong, that is a great and wonderful thing, but one age group that seems to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to gift giving is the senior population. And GoodLife Programs & Activities is doing something about.
The senior center has partnered with the Concord Housing Authority and the Friends Program to identify seniors who are in need this holiday season. Seniors who don’t have a lot of money or family in the area to spend the holidays with, were asked to apply to the housing authority or Friends program, listing their first name, age, size, favorite color, wants, needs and wishes – kind of like if they were writing a letter to Santa.
Some ideas on the cards include things like blankets, slippers, sneakers, puzzles and crafty things. One asked for a soft pillow, another requested “The Doors Greatest Hits” and someone even asked for peace in the world.
“And even though they filled out their wants and needs, it’s still a surprise when they get that knock at the door,” said Susan Greenblott, director of development and marketing at GoodLife.
So if you head over to GoodLife sometime this week, you can pick up a tag off their giving tree and make a senior’s Christmas this year.
“A lot of seniors are lonely and don’t have family that live close,” Greenblott said. “We wanted to ensure they have some cheer around the holidays.”
GoodLife, with the help of the two local agencies, identified about 60 seniors – and we’re talking anywhere from age 55 and up – and as of last week, there were plenty of tags that still needed to be plucked off the branches. If you’re feeling really generous, you can even grab two or three tags.
“Whatever generosity level people want to do,” Greenblott said.
So here’s how it works. Go to GoodLife this week, look over the tags that remain and pick one (or a couple). Check in with the people at the front desk and then go out shopping.
There’s a suggested minimum price range of $15, but you can really spend as much as you want. This is the season of giving, after all.
“These are the people who are really in need,” Greenblott said.
Once you’ve made your purchases, the gift(s) and card, put them unwrapped in a gift bag with the original tag and return it all to GoodLife by this coming Monday, so it can be delivered in time for Christmas.
It doesn’t leave you a lot of time, but we have faith you can pull it off.
The Concord Police Department and the Friends Program will play the part of the giving tree Santa and make sure each senior gets something for the holidays.