There still is time left to help Senior CenterPublished 11:09am Monday, December 23, 2013
By Alexandra Hedrick
For members of the community who weren’t able to adopt a senior for Christmas, there are still opportunities to donate to the Senior Center.
The Senior Center of South Pearl River County offers the senior citizens in the county a place to go to keep active and socialize with each other, said Kathleen Penton, volunteer coordinator.
In November and December, the Senior Center held their 3rd Annual Christmas Snowflake Adopt a Senior program. The program, which was started by the Community Business Advisory Committee, allows for members of the community to pick a snowflake that represents a senior citizen in the county and gift them with a gift card for Christmas. All those who participate in the program are anonymous.
Executive Director Darlene Adams said when one senior came to pick up their gift, they cried because they were grateful that someone had thought of him at Christmas.
“For some of them, it just makes a world of difference that someone though of them,” Adams said.
“At this time of year, its real hard when you’re by yourself and don’t have anyone. Its important for the community to show how important they are,” Penton said.
Adams said the senior center provides for the needs of seniors in the community and one of those needs during the holidays is receiving a gift from someone else, especially if they are by themselves.
Highland Community Hospital, Ford Reality and Stewart Insurance Agency all set up Christmas trees, where members of the community could come and pick up snowflakes and drop off their donation.
The senior center asked participants give gift cards so that the recipients can buy what they need.
The Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary made a large donation this year to purchase gift cards for the seniors participating in the program, Penton said.
“We’re on Earth to be a blessing and it gives these people an opportunity to be a blessing to someone else,” Adams said.
The adopt a senior event ended on Friday, but the center is still looking for donations to match a grant they are eligible to receive.
Adams said there is an organization that is willing to match up to $12,000 of what the senior center is able to raise. She said they have until Jan. 31, 2014 to raise as much money as possible to help the senior center.
“We really love the seniors here and are trying to provide a place that they can come and meet their friends and we do special things here to try and make their time enjoyable,” Penton said.
Penton said if anyone is interested in donating or learning more information about how they can help, call the senior center at 601-798-9892.