Riverbank Cares, Westamerica in Riverbank and O’Brien’s Market are joining forces again this holiday season to keep a tradition alive: Adopt a Grandparent.
Visit O’Brien’s Market or the Westamerica Bank branch in Crossroads Shopping Center and you will find “ornaments” on the Christmas trees set up there, giving you information for a senior resident of the Riverbank Care Facility; their needs or wants are also included. Once you select the senior you want to adopt this holiday season, it is important to record your choice with the staff of the market or the bank. This will allow for tracking so no one is left out. As you go about your holiday shopping, purchase the gifts and return them to the market or the bank, unwrapped, in a gift bag. Gifts should be returned no later than Dec. 15. It is important that the “ornament” be returned also since Santa has an official check off list. The gifts will be sorted and prepared for delivery for the seniors at their holiday party.
Helping spearhead the effort is Carla Strong, a volunteer with Riverbank Cares.
“The need is always greater than the previous year; more of our population is living longer and not equipped to care for themselves,” said Strong. “The commitment from the community will be vital in caring for each person, making sure Santa leaves no one off his list. Each of the partners play a large part in the project. We need the community more than ever to make this a success.”
Strong said she initially started with the project as a way of honoring her late husband, Jerry, and has continued because she feels she always gets more than she gives.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for our elderly,” stated Strong. “Working together with our community partners is fulfilling a desire I’ve long had, of letting our seniors know they are not forgotten.”
Organizers said it’s amazing how small the requests from seniors are; lotion, a lap blanket, radio, coloring books, slippers or a bottle of perfume. Every effort is made to be sure that no one is forgotten and with the help of volunteers at the care facility the gifts are given out during their holiday gathering.
For those who do not have time to do the shopping, cash donations are accepted and the organizers will do the shopping for you. For more information, contact Westamerica Bank at 869-2469 or stop by O’Brien’s Market in Riverbank.