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Community Adopts Grandparents For Holidays
The gifts were all spread out under the tree at the Riverbank Nursing Center to be given to the residents at the holiday Christmas party hosted by Riverbank Cares. Photo Contributed


The tradition of the Adopt a Grandparent program continued this holiday season with 95 seniors that were adopted and given an array of gifts and treated to a holiday party at the Riverbank Rehabilitation Center. The tradition was created over 10 years ago by Riverbank Cares organizer Carla Strong and her late husband Jerry.

The center has grown and now has 99 beds available.

“He always had a soft spot for seniors and would visit nursing homes,” said Strong. “He would take his guitar around the homes and entertain them. So continuing the program is honoring him too.”

There were trees with ornaments that had a seniors name on it with a few items on their wish list. There were different types of items requested like blankets, sweaters, and socks. Every resident at the care facility receives a gift and if there are any that are not adopted, Strong and the other Riverbank Cares team will purchase them gifts.

“This really is a community project,” added Strong. “It takes everybody.”

Riverbank Cares is a collaboration of other organizations in the Riverbank community. The folks received their gifts at the holiday party last week where they were treated to milk and cookies, a visit from Santa Claus, and a holiday performance by carolers.

“I have always had a soft spot for our elderly,” expressed Strong. “Working together with our community partners is fulfilling a desire I’ve long had, of letting our seniors know they are not forgotten. Our elderly often spend long lonely days in nursing facilities where one day runs into another.”

For the seniors that are not able to attend the holiday party they will get a visit from Riverbank Cares volunteers and the gifts delivered to their rooms.

“It (the donations) goes to show that people care,” stated Strong. “Our elderly folks at the care facility were not forgotten.”