Locals contribute to homebound seniors’ wish lists
By Karen Brainard
Ramona Senior Center collected a mountain of gifts for homebound seniors this season, all donated by local groups and individuals.
For approximately nine years, the senior center has conducted the “Homebound Christmas Gift Giving Program,” granting the wishes of those seniors unable to get out and shop.
“With the help of the community we try to fulfill our homebound seniors’ gift wishes,” said Jackie Creighton, who heads up the project and works as bookkeeper of the senior center.
This year they fulfilled the wishes of 112 homebound seniors from Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Mesa Grande, Lake Henshaw, Warner Springs, Ranchita and Valley Center.
The wrapped presents were set to be delivered between Dec. 12 and 23 by the homebound meal delivery drivers, said Creighton.
The seniors were asked in late October what they needed for Christmas and their names and needs were distributed to groups and individuals. Gifts can include flannel sheets, hooded sweatshirts, bath towels, electric can openers — ”a wide range of gifts,” said Creighton. “It seems like most of them ask for things to keep them warm and cozy.”
Participating in the program by donating gifts were Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, First Congregational Church, Girl Scout troops from Ramona and Julian, Ramona Valley 4-H and employees of the Ramona Municipal Water District. Ramona residents participating included Mr. and Mrs. E. Saunders, Lisa Tucker, Gina Banach, and Lorraine Waters.
Creighton said she started the project because of her compassion for the homebound.
“This is my pet project,” she said. “I just love it. It’s just so rewarding.”
Anyone interested in donating to the program next year may call the senior center at 760-789-0440.
The senior center also gave out candy cane reindeer to those seniors who lunch at the center. Creighton said Ramona Girl Scout troops made about 300 candy cane reindeer, using supplies donated by Gail Lemonds, a Ramona resident who volunteers at the center.
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