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   Give Seniors the Gift of Your Presence


The holiday season is fully underway. Generosity towards the less fortunate is on our minds and hearts, and there is a wonderful outpouring of love and charity directed at children and families in need at this time of year. Please remember the elderly in our midst who are struggling, and reach out to them if you can. 

I believe the greatest gift we can give someone is not our presents, but our presence. Opening our hearts and giving the gift of genuine care and concern can be more meaningful and long-lasting than any tangible item.

There are many low-income seniors in our community who canít afford to purchase both food and medications each month. Health challenges often prevent some from leaving the house. An inability to participate in activities a senior has previously enjoyed can lead to isolation, loneliness and depression. The loss of a spouse, either recently or many years ago, can be especially painful at this time of year.

It only takes a few moments to call an elderly friend or neighbor to let them know we are thinking about them. This simple act of kindness doesnít cost a dime, but is worth its weight in gold. Making a heartfelt connection can often do more to lift someoneís spirits than we might realize. Can you offer to do a bit of shopping as youíre out and about doing your own? Perhaps you can drop by with a meal, invite an acquaintance to your home for dinner, or take them out for lunch or coffee.

If you donít know any seniors in need, please consider making a donation to one of the nonprofit agencies that assist year-round. Any of the Senior Centers that have food distribution or Meals-On-Wheels Programs would be grateful for a donation of non-perishable food items. Even a few cans of soup will help. Perhaps you might encourage your children to choose a charity and, together, deliver your donation. What a wonderful, compassionate lesson to teach a child. Or, take up a collection at work or your place of worship.

If there is someone on your gift list who really has everything they need, consider making a financial donation in their honor to one of the nonprofit agencies that help people cope with emotional or physical health challenges. Donít be embarrassed to donate just a few dollars. Every penny counts and it all adds up. Organizations such as the Alzheimerís Association, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, Yavapai Regional Medical Center, American Diabetes Association, or American Cancer Society. You can choose an agency that helped you or an older relative or friend cope with an illness, or simply pick one youíd like to support.

Thank you for caring and for helping make our community a hope-filled place to live. Iím wishing you and yours a meaningful holiday season, full of warmth and love.

Article written by Debbie Stewart, President of the SeniorConnection.us