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Gift program seeks Angels for seniors
Holiday effort cheers the elderly
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Forsyth County News
How to help

To donate or for more information about the Holiday Gift Angels program, which runs through Dec. 7, call (770) 781-2178 or go online at
For some it could be a robe or towel, for others perhaps a blanket or lotion.

They are common household items for many, but for senior citizens in financial straits, it could make all the difference in the world, said Shelley Johnson.

The requests are made every year as part of the Holiday Gift Angels program for local seniors.

“They’ll ask for peanuts or their favorite candy. One time someone asked for some long johns,” said Johnson, director of the Forsyth County Senior Center. “One time someone asked for a bonnet. It’s always interesting to see what makes other people happy.”

Homebound seniors write their gift requests and send them back to the center. That’s when the community comes in, Johnson said.

Residents buy items, which are listed on a tag for each senior, and return them to the center for delivery.

It’s a simple concept, and given the economy, Johnson said the need is even greater than years past.

The people served through the program live on fixed incomes, she said. And families who have helped their parents and grandparents in the past may be going through difficult times themselves.

“We know that a lot of the people who have given in the past may not be able to do that now,” she said. “We are hoping to connect earlier with people who haven’t participated before.”

Gift deliveries will be made along with the center’s meal delivery program. The 180 seniors who receive home-delivered meals were given gift request tags, Johnson said.

The meal program could also use additional funding this year, she said. Cash donations will be accepted to buy and deliver meals to the homebound seniors for $3.39 each.

“I’ve been amazed at how generous the community here is,” Johnson said. “Sometimes they’ll send a package that has a little card made by their children. That’s always special.

“For most of our homebounds in particular, they don’t have a family in the area ... so this might be the only recognition they will receive for the holiday.”