Brighten someone’s holiday with cozy socks and crossword puzzles: Senior Center in need of items for Christmas care packages

BUCKHANNON – When you are out grocery or holiday shopping over the next week, the Upshur County Senior Center is asking residents to remember older adults in the Buckhannon-Upshur Community.

The Upshur County Senior Center is still looking for donations for their Christmas Care Packages – especially blankets/throws, socks and toothpaste/toothbrushes.

Director of the Upshur County Senior Center Sarah Campbell said they are still in search of all the items they have listed on their Facebook including: toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, bars of soap, socks, hard candy, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, combs/hairbrushes, razors and shampoo/conditioner.

“Those hygiene items like shampoo, conditioner, soap, we don’t need so much because we’ve had some donations and then we have someone who is actually making us soap this year, which we’re very excited about,” Campbell said. “We’re also looking for things like adult toothbrushes, and then blankets are our big item that we’re doing this year.”

They are hoping to get blankets in several colors for men and women, but neutral colors are also great.

“We’re also looking for items like puzzle books and something like an activity,” Campbell said. “We’re also looking for big pens – it’s not necessarily on our list, but then we could include for those puzzle books, a pen to go with it.”

The packages will go to the center’s 80 clients and anything extra will go towards Meals on Wheels.

“This is actually our third year doing this, and it’s my third Christmas with the senior center, so this is something that I started when I came here, and this is probably one of the highlights of my year doing this,” Campbell said. “We always get tons of thank you notes from our clients, and our care workers are always excited to come in, pick them up and take them to their clients, because a lot of our clients who are in our in-home care program or even on Meals on Wheels, those people can be fairly isolated and the holidays are usually a time where you would be with family.”

She said they are trying to make the packages even more special this year because of COVID-19.

“That isolation can be really hard, and we’re trying to make these packages just a little bit extra special because just look at 2020 – it’s been rough and it’s definitely been rough for our seniors because they’re higher risk,” Campbell said. “Even the people that they might normally get to see, such as family or friends, they haven’t even been able to do that.”

People that may not know what the center needs are also welcome to donate money, so the staff can purchase items for the packages.

“We have already had several people who’ve reached out to us and asked about donations of money, and we are definitely happy to take donations of money,” Campbell said. “Checks are preferable so that we can track donations easier, and then we just ask the checks to be made out to the Upshur County Senior Center.”

Campbell said to make a notation in the memo line that the money is to be used for Christmas Care Packages.

Donations may be dropped off at the senior center Monday through Friday until Dec. 11, 2020, and they also have a collection box at Fortify Private Wealth Management-Ameriprise Financial Services on Main Street, next to Stone Tower Brews.

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