For many, the holiday season is a time for family and giving and receiving gifts.
But some groups of seniors aren't so fortunate.
But Everything Medical in Redding hopes to change that with its Adopt a Senior program.
Last year, store owner Gayle Adelman started what's poised to become a community tradition.
“We started with 20 names and we couldn't even get them on the tree fast enough,” Adelman said. “So we went and got 40 more. And by the end, we had 150. And even those were gone before the first week in December.”
This year more than twice that number have been adopted.
The seniors come from care facilities all over Shasta County.
One of those is Copper Ridge in Redding.
“It's so important for our residents because a lot of them don't have families, they don't have friends,” activities director Brenda Johnson said. “We have resident here that have recently just lost their homes, their clothes in the Paradise fire. So they're here with nothing.”
Copper Ridge resident Stephen Leith was one of last year's gift recipients.
“I got a celestial lamp that's battery operated,” Leith said. “It's round and it has a cover on it. You take the cover off and it shows stars on the ceiling when it's dark.”
He loved it so much, staff says he’s talked about it all year long.
“So for him, it wasn't just one day, it was an all year thing,” Johnson said. “And he still has it and still uses it to this day.”
This year Leith hopes to get a blanket.
Blankets, gloves, slippers, anything to keep warm are some of the most asked for gifts from seniors.
And for many without friends or family nearby, these small gifts can make a huge impact.
“It's no different than when you give a gift to your two-year-old or five-year-old at home,” Copper Ridge resident Dorothy Bennett said. “I mean it's a wonderful feeling of joy and knowing that somebody cares.”
To get involved, you can visit Everything Medical at their on Athens Avenue in Redding, take a decoration with a senior's name and wish list, then come back and drop off the gifts before December 17th.
Adelman says they’re going fast but she’s working to get more seniors up on the tree for adoption.
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