Christmas isn’t a holiday to be enjoyed only by children

A few days before Christmas, Cindy (case manager) and Julie (student intern) spent the afternoon visiting customers to deliver Adopt-a-Senior gifts.

“Lilly” (not her real name) is in her 90’s. She has outlived nearly all of her family members and lives alone, but with help provided by Clermont Senior Services, Lilly is able to continue living at home.

Julie said Lilly’s eyes lit up with joy when she saw all the packages the Adopt-a-Senior volunteer had purchased for her. She wanted to open them right away so she could show them off, but she was so excited, she couldn’t decide which gift to open first. She decided to start with the smallest and work her way up. She was so touched that a kind stranger would take the time and expense to purchase these gifts for her. Lilly said this will be a very special Christmas, just knowing there are people who care about an “old lady” like her.

Lilly was one of the hundreds of seniors adopted by volunteers, as part of our Adopt-a-Senior Program this year. From early November until Christmas Day, the large storage room and conference room at our office served as one of Santa’s satellite distribution centers. Each day I watched the hustle and bustle of Santa’s Adopt-a-Senior elves coming and going with special gifts for hundreds of “young-at-heart boys and girls” who might be forgotten, if it were not for the Adopt-a-Senior Program.

Another senior, “Mary,” called to tell us how much she was touched by the card and gifts she received. Mary was adopted by a young man who attends Loveland High School.

Mary really appreciated the card and picture the young man sent to her. She was so moved that he would do something so thoughtful for someone he didn’t even know. Mary called to ask if we could let him know how much she appreciated his kindness. We were glad to do so. When the young man’s Dad dropped the gifts off at the office, he said his son heard about the Adopt-a-Senior program and decided he wanted to help. He saved his own money and adopted five seniors!

And here is the best news of all. Because of the abundance of support provided by scores of individuals like this young man, by church and civic groups, and by businesses throughout Clermont County, we get to serve as one of Santa’s official satellite distribution centers all year long. Each year our Adopt-a-Senior Program receives extra cash gifts, and a large assortment of personal care and household items, which allows us to help some of our lowest income seniors all year long.

I wish space allowed me to list the names of every volunteer and staff member who helped with this year’s Adopt-a-Senior Program. It would be a very long list. On behalf of each older person who was helped, we thank you.

But I do want to acknowledge one very special lady. Carol came into our lives as an office volunteer several years ago. This means that she helps with all sorts of special projects in the office. Carol told me where she lives in Clermont County, but after watching her fly around the Adopt-a-Senior workshop this year, I’m convinced that Carol secretly lives at the North Pole and mysteriously appears in our office each day by laying a finger to the side of her nose! Thank you, Carol.