A call for Christmas help...
This is a call for help, if anyone can assist. This time of year, many folks think of Toys-For-Tots, Toy runs, fund raisers for children, help for underprivileged families, and other charities. We just learned of this situation over the last few days…
The Yarborough-O’Neal Home in Zebulon is an assisted living facility. It currently houses 39 elderly women & 18 elderly men. In many ways, these elderly people are just like children…unable to help themselves and have no one and/or no where to turn for assistance. The home gets almost all of their money in exchange for somewhere clean and warm to stay. Earlier in life, these people were professionals, farmers, veterans of foreign wars, have raised families, etc…these are people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, people are often put in (or end up in) homes and seemingly forgotten. Most all of them are cognizant of what is going on around them and very aware that they are left all alone during Christmas (and most other times). This is sad to see, and an all too common miserable existence. Many of these folks have little or no family, and lack even the very basic of items that we all take for granted in daily life…things like Anti-perspirant, handkerchiefs, socks, q-tips, soap, etc. These items are not furnished by the facility, and the individuals generally have so little money that they can’t help themselves with the basics.
Debbie’s father is in this home, we’re out there to visit almost every day, and try to help out where we can. We’ve repaired sunglasses, put batteries in clocks, labeled clothing, found lost items, talked to management about conditions, and even been called to cut a lock off of a cabinet where an elderly lady had accidentally locked her personal possessions in and then couldn’t find the key.
We were talking with the manager and learned, after a Christmas routine of many years, they won’t be able to prepare their annual Christmas dinner for these people this year. Due to budget cuts, personnel cutbacks, most of their suppliers’ donation budgets drying up, and a general lack of funding, they simply will not have the food for it. They usually get donations of a few extra hams and other items for this meal that these folks look forward to, but they have none this year.
Several of the folks at Scootworks are assembling packages and gifts for these people, and we plan to go and spend this coming Friday (12/19) afternoon (around 3pm) with them to celebrate Christmas and life as best as possible. The girls at the shop are preparing snacks and food for the folks at the home. We can’t do much, as 57 adults are a lot of people to provide for, and we’ve been hit as hard as everyone else in the current economy.
The items we’ve already bought for their gift bags are: nail files, tangerines, peppermint candy, butterscotch candy, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, some toothpaste, deodorant, bath powder, chapstick, and hand lotion.
What I’m asking for is this:
- If any of you know someone in the food industry or grocery store business that might be able to do something to help with their Christmas meal, it would be much appreciated. We’ve made calls to folks we know, but aren’t making progress with donations.
- The men can use simple things like personal hygiene items (soap, shaving lotion, aftershave, q-tips, toothpaste), socks, handkerchiefs, hair combs, more hand cream, nail clippers, etc. Other items are more expensive and up to those donating.
- The women can use simple things like personal hygiene items (soap, perfume, q-tips, toothpaste), hair brushes, nail files & clippers, hair spray, shower caps, cotton balls, hand lotion, etc. Other items are more expensive and up to those donating.
We’d really like to help these elderly people to have a good Christmas. We’re not looking to have them get new TVs and fancy presents, but rather help them have a good Christmas meal and know that the world hasn’t forgotten and passed them by. I understand that everyone is in a bad way this year. Like many of you, we’ve cut way back on Christmas spending, travel, and unnecessary expenses. If you can help ANY at all, or know anyone who can, please email me at wb4iuy @ eastrc . org or call my cell at 919-795-2074. I surely hope none of us ever end up in this situation, maybe we’ll be able to provide for ourselves and have someone who loves and cares for us enough to make our later days pleasant.
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