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ElderCare Giving Tree available in agency’s new location
Eldercare Giving Tree 2019
Dakota Maxwell, left, and Alicia Bustamante, ElderCare office staff members, decorate the ElderCare Giving Tree.

            Even before the ElderCare Giving Tree was available, Brandi Gruber was answering questions about it from the community.

            Gruber, ElderCare executive director, said she and her staff revel in this “amazing community support for the project that makes Christmas a little merrier” for the non-profit agency’s home-heath clients.

            The Giving Tree is now available at ElderCare’s new location, 1121 Washington in Great Bend. It recently moved from West 10th.

            “In recent weeks, people came up to me and asked about the status of our Giving Tree,” Gruber said. “It is so gratifying to know that our community cares about the people who count on our home-health services.

            “This is only our third year for this project, which covers six counties,” she added. “Our staff and clients can’t thank donors enough for their Christmas spirit.”

 More than 60 gifts were collected the first year and last year more than 90 clients had presents to open.

“We hope even more area residents will benefit from the community’s generous spirit this year,” Gruber commented.

            The ElderCare Giving Tree provides much-needed items to senior citizens who are short on finances and have limited mobility.

            The Giving Tree has been trimmed with decorative tags that represent clients and their particular needs. Actual names are not used because of privacy concerns.

Anyone is welcome to choose a tag and return a gift at the ElderCare office or call 620-792-5942.

            There is still a little time for additions to the tree.

            “Many seniors, especially at Christmastime, need to know their neighbors are thinking about them,” Gruber said. “They need some basic items and we encourage businesses and individuals to take on the role of Santa Claus.”

            Gifts could include blankets, warm clothing, toiletry items, crossword and word-search books, and gift cards for a few staples at the grocery store.

            “In addition, we want to ensure that each gift includes something fun,” Gruber commented. “This could be a favorite candy or food item specific to each gift recipient.”

            The counties involved are Barton, Pawnee, Rush, Stafford, Kiowa and Pratt. ElderCare has about 350 home-services clients in this area.

            “Anyone who receives our home services in these counties is eligible to have a place on our Christmas tree,” Gruber said. “Our caregivers are offering suggestions because they are our eyes and ears as they visit our clients’ homes.

            “However, anyone who knows a senior citizen who could benefit from this program is encouraged to contact us soon,” she added, noting ElderCare personnel will deliver the gifts.

            ElderCare’s home services include personal care, household tasks and respite for caregivers. Registered nurses offer medication management, wellness checks and companionship.

            “Last year, gifts came from individuals of all ages, businesses, churches and civic groups,” Gruber said. “We were overwhelmed by that amazing response and are excited to see what this year brings.”

            For more information, call 620-792-5942.