This story was originally published in the Winston-Salem Journal on December 17, 2015.
Senior Services is spreading some holiday cheer in Forsyth County this season, thanks to donations from the community.
Each year, Senior Services gathers donated items such as household goods, personal hygiene items and canned goods to give to seniors over the Christmas season.
The theme of this year’s Senior Stocking Drive is “Remember in December” — a reminder not to forget about homebound seniors during the holidays and the cold months of winter, when supplies can be critically low. The drive is underway now.
Virginia Madeline Fulp VanHoy, 89, beams as she talks about Senior Services, which provides services that enable her to stay in her home in Forsyth County.
VanHoy recently received a package of household essentials and Christmas slippers thanks to the stocking drive.
“I thoroughly will enjoy that,” she said, “and I think it’s such a good thing they’re doing.”
VanHoy was in a festive mood during the visit, even singing a refrain from “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.”
“The Christmas season is a time for love and happiness with one another,” VanHoy said.
Her daughter Judy Sparks said of Senior Services, “They are a huge blessing. They help so many people in so many ways.”
Senior Services is a nonprofit organization that helps Forsyth County seniors remain in their homes as long as possible. It assists 2,500 seniors each year through various programs, such as Meals on Wheels and in-home care.
The Remember in December drive runs through Dec. 30.
Richard Gottlieb, the president and chief executive of Senior Services, wrote in an email: “What amazes me is how much we take for granted. Household supplies and canned goods can mean the world to many of our homebound seniors.”
Senior Services tries to identify the specific needs of seniors ahead of delivery. Many seniors fill out a checklist of needed items ahead of time, or staff members and volunteers know what is most needed in the home, Gottlieb said.
“We will deliver household goods and non-perishable food items to around 800 of our seniors this holiday season,” Gottlieb wrote. “We continue to deliver these items year round to the vast majority of our seniors enrolled in our programs, as we have another drive in the summer — ‘Christmas in July.’”
Donations from individuals, churches, businesses and organizations help make the holiday drive possible.
Donations can be dropped off at Forsyth County branches of Piedmont Federal Savings Bank, the corporate partner for the drive, or at Senior Services.
The wish list includes:
- Hygiene and health:
- adult pull-ups, disposable razors, socks, shaving cream.
- Ensure or Boost nutrition drinks; canned chicken, tuna or salmon; canned fruit or fruit cups; cereal; Jell-O cups; sugar-free pudding cups; any nonperishable food items.
- Household goods:
- laundry detergent, paper towels, dish-washing liquid, household cleaning supplies, Kleenex, toilet paper.
- gift cards in any amount (grocery, pharmacy, discount or department store).
Financial donations also can be made online at www.seniorservicesinc.org.