Vail Daily column: Spread holiday cheer to seniors
The holidays are around the corner. Many locals often travel to see family, hold events at our homes or attend galas at our friends’ homes. Regardless of religion, the holidays are a time to think about those who are less fortunate — a time for families and friends to be together.
Perhaps this year, our community will think about those senior citizens who are living in a nursing home, a senior citizen center or at their own home within our mountain communities. Many of these senior residents get very few visitors during the holidays, as their families may live outside our community and/or state. Many such seniors may very well embrace a holiday visit from a local family or group of students from a local school. A short visit and act of kindness goes a long way!
A great way to spread cheer to senior citizens is to have family and students work with the seniors to make holiday ornaments that can be hung within their home. Locals can also volunteer to read holiday books with the seniors or even sing holiday songs. Making a home-cooked holiday meal for a senior is always appreciated.
Items you could donate
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.
Beginning Wednesday, the Visiting Angels office, located in Eagle at 120 E. 3rd Street, will do its part to help bring some festive holiday cheer to our seniors. In addition to Visiting Angels reaching out to Eagle County restaurants and businesses, we would like to encourage area residents and businesses to step in and donate items to our Eagle County seniors. Suggestions for such items may include these new (not used) items:
• Blankets or throws.
• Gift baskets.
• Bath towels.
• Bed linens.
• Scrapbook and photobook supplies.
• Yes, even tablets and iPads.
• Gift certificates to grocery stores and favorite dining venues are always a favorite!
Any and all appropriate gifts would be gratefully appreciated. All gifts should be placed in a gift bag, not wrapped, and be clearly denoted for a male or female. All gifts can be delivered to the Visiting Angels office during regular business hours.
Should the Visiting Angels office not be convenient for you, you may also deliver gifts to the Eagle County Salvation Army location in Avon, 322 E. Beaver Creek Blvd. The Salvation Army office building is located just behind the Avon City Market at the corner of Chapel Place and Beaver Creek Boulevard. Please note somewhere on the gifts that they are for Eagle Seniors citizens. The Salvation Army office phone number is 970-748-0704.
Take part in the Senior Wish program
Another option for those wishing to help our seniors is to contact the Senior Wish program. Senior Wish assists in providing gifts to over 100 of our community senior citizens. A wish list is given to local senior citizens asking them to identify their top three items they would like for the holidays. Last year, some wished for items including washing the windows for a senior living at Golden Eagle Senior Apartments, pet food and City Market gift cards. Once the Senior Wish program identifies what items are wished for, they reach out to our community to seek donors interested in fulfilling each or part of each senior’s wish list. This program is very special and unique to our community. If you would be interested in donating, please call Lynn Bowels at 970-445-8222
If none of these suggestions have piqued your interest and you would like to assist our local seniors, please call Carly Rietmann, of Eagle County Human Health. Rietmann will be happy to speak with you about donating to help our county’s seniors. She may be reached at 970-328-8896.
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.