Program providing gifts to needy seniors expects increase in requests
Elves for Elders, the popular campaign delivering gifts to needy seniors throughout Cleveland, is gearing up again this holiday season during a time when seniors may need more of the bare necessities to survive.
The Caring Tree Senior Care office serving Cleveland has joined local businesses and retailers to provide presents to seniors who otherwise might not receive a gift this holiday season.
Program sponsors expect gift requests to be up this year as the economic downturn continues and Social Security benefits fail to keep pace with daily living expenses.
“Most people aren’t aware of seniors in our community who have no family and are alone,” said Joe Orlando, owner of Caring Tree Senior Care office. “What’s more, this holiday season finds many older adults struggling to make ends meet.”
Prior to the holiday season, participating local non-profit organizations identify needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Caring Tree Senior Care. Christmas trees were set up in Cleveland-area locations in early November – including the Keller Williams office at 30400 Detroit Rd., Suite 100, in Westlake – featuring ornaments with the first names only of the seniors and their respective gift requests.
Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. Volunteers will then collect, wrap and deliver the gifts to area seniors.
Elves for Elders is a way of reaching out to a population who has done so much for our country with a gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill. “Participating in this program means so much more to me than you can imagine,” says an employee of Keller Williams who hopes to deliver to the same senior this year. She delivered twin bedding and a CD to a blind senior who lives in poverty in Cleveland.
“This may be the last visit and gift they receive,” she says. “Delivering this small gift and visiting with her made us both cry.” Seeing the gratitude of to those older adults who have contributed so much to our community is what the Elves for Elders program is all about.
For more information about the program or to volunteer to deliver gifts, call 440 386-4660.