Vail Daily column: Offer a helping hand for the holidays
I’d like to share with you some heartwarming and great things that happened this past week. I spoke with a branch manager of a local bank who read last week’s article I wrote about spreading some holiday cheer to our local seniors. She thought enough of what was said within the article that she has asked the employees of the bank if they, as a group, would consider providing either time or gifts for our community’s seniors.
On Thursday, I arrived to the office to find an envelope taped to the front door. Inside was a $5 bill and a letter: “I wish I could offer more.” No name of the donor was offered. On Friday, a gentleman came to the office and brought a couple of brand new throws to be provided to a local senior. I had been in the midst of a conversation with one of the building tenants when he had arrived. When he left the office, the other tenant commented, “Don’t we live in a great place?”
How good would it make you feel if your folks called you and shared with you a story of how someone from their community came and sang a carol at their door, offered some type of assistance with some house chore that may have been on your folks’ to-do list but was being put off because of effort/safety? How would you feel if a childhood friend came to see your folks, brought some cookies and shared a story of some event/instance from the past they recalled doing with your folks? Would you smile as your folks shared this? Would you feel grateful to your friend and recall how good of a friend this was?
Too often, when we think about the holidays, we frequently think about family members and children. Unfortunately, we forget about the population of senior adults who have given so much to our nation, to our communities and our lives.
As we are all aware, there are not too many days left before the holidays are upon us. As each day passes leading up to the holiday, there is another opportunity that we may have missed to touch another person in a positive manner. By being proactive this holiday season, maybe we will not miss too many chances to reach out to others.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 27 percent of people 65 and older (10.8 million people) are widowed. The Administration on Aging reports about 28 percent (11.8 million) of non-institutionalized people 65 and older live alone. During the holidays, many remain alone. Many such seniors would be thrilled to have someone come to spend some time with them.
There are so many ways we can touch others’ lives within our community this holiday season: sending a gift basket, stopping by the Golden Eagle Senior Center or buying a gift and bringing it to the Salvation Army in Avon or to the Visiting Angels office in Eagle. Any way you can, bring some joy into a senior’s life this year.
Think how you would feel if someone did something special for your folks this season.
This year, when buying family gifts, consider buying just one more.
If you would be interested in donating to the Senior Wish program, please call Lynn Bowels at 970-445-8222. If you would like to assist our local seniors in any manner, please call Carly Rietmann at the Eagle County Public Health — Healthy Aging. Carly will be happy to speak with you about donating to help our county’s seniors. Carly may be reached at 970-328-8896.
Please talk to your co-workers, friends and religious organizations about doing something kind for our community’s seniors.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. For more information, go to http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns or call 970-328-5526.