There are hundreds of seniors in Barton County living alone and dependent on local agencies for food, socialization, and basic human contact. So, come Valentines’ Day, a host of local agencies wants to make sure these residents are not forgotten.
“These seniors have no family or friends to help them, or just keep in contact with them,” said Linn Hogg, RSVP director. Many have been homebound so long they have fallen through the cracks of any social circles they might once have belonged to. The American Geriatrics Society is calling them “elder orphans.”
So, this year United Way of Central Kansas will collect items for “Boxes of Love,” from community members, which will then be distributed through the Meals On Wheels, ElderCare Home Services and Great Bend Home Health & Hospice programs on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.
“We are asking the community to help us collect items for the boxes and drop them off at one of our drop off sites,” said Hogg. “Here is a chance to thank people in the community that were once helping others but now need a little kindness in return.”
One can drop off their donated items at Farmers Bank, First Kansas Bank, Great Bend Children’s Learning, Great Bend Tribune, Great Bend Recreation’s Activity Center, Great Bend Public Library, Great Bend Coffee, Freddy’s, Credit Union of America, Dillons, Club One Fitness, Trinity Lutheran Church, First Christian Church, Great Bend Regional Hospital, Community Bank of the Midwest, RSVP, ElderCare, Inc. and Great Bend Chamber.
Business are welcomed and encouraged to participate. Call RSVP at 620-792-1614 for pick-up of collected items.
Suggested items include: stationary/note cards, envelopes, pens, stamps, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, band-aids, antiseptic cream, cotton balls, wash cloths, combs/brushes, small photo albums, magnifying glasses, word-search books (travel size), devotional books, sugar-free candy, sugar-free gum, cough drop, eye drops, tissues, books, hand lotions, gloves, false teeth holders, pill box holders, lip balm. Cash donations will be accepted. Make checks payable to United Way of Central Kansas.