Even though the COVID-19 situation has improved, those who want to choose an ornament from the ElderCare Giving Tree are encouraged to make an appointment.
“When people make appointments, we can limit the number of people here at any one time,” explained Brandi Gruber, ElderCare executive director. “We did this last year and it worked very well.”
The Giving Tree is located in the lobby at the ElderCare office, 1121 Washington, Great Bend.
Donors may call 620-792-5942 or email email@example.com.
“We are more than happy to accommodate anyone who wants to spread the Christmas spirit to the people we serve,” Gruber commented. “Many of our seniors are still not getting out too much and we know they appreciate support from their community. The Giving Tree gifts always bring smiles.”
The tree is trimmed with decorative tags that represent ElderCare clients and their particular needs. Actual names are not used because of privacy concerns.
Gifts should be returned to the ElderCare office by Dec. 15.
This year marks the fifth annual Giving Tree project. The number of gifts has steadily increased over the years; more than 100 gifts were delivered last year.
“This project has always been popular,” Gruber commented. “We trust that our generous community will come through again this year. Because of the pandemic, it is especially important to remember our seniors who are short on finances and have limited mobility.
“They need to know their neighbors are thinking about them during this special time of year. We encourage individuals and businesses to play Santa Claus by donating some basic items.”
For example, gifts could include blankets, warm clothing, toiletry items, crossword puzzle and word-search books, along with gift cards for a few staples at the grocery story.
“In addition, we want to ensure that each package includes something just for fun,” Gruber noted. “This could be a favorite candy or food item.”
Counties involved are Barton, Pawnee, Rush, Stafford and Pratt. ElderCare serves about 350 clients in this area.
Anyone who receives home services in these counties is eligible for the Giving Tree project.
“Our caregivers offer suggestions because they are our eyes and ears when visiting private homes,” Gruber said. “They also deliver the gifts and genuinely enjoy sharing a little Christmas spirit with their clients.”
Anyone who knows a senior citizen who could benefit from this project is encouraged to contact ElderCare soon.
The non-profit agency’s home services include personal care, household tasks and respite for caregivers. Registered nurses offer medication management, wellness checks and companionship.
“Each year, gifts have been donated by individuals, businesses, churches and civic groups,” Gruber mentioned. “We are always gratified by the amazing response to the Giving Tree and are excited to see what this year brings.”