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Gift programs benefit seniors over holidays
Josephine Hand prepares food for the local Meals on Wheels program Tuesday. Forsyth County Senior Services is offering a couple of ways residents can help local seniors during the holidays. - photo by Autumn McBride

How to help

• Holiday Gift Angels: Call the Center at Charles Place, (770) 781-2178, or visit the center, adjacent to the Cumming library, to receive a gift tag.

• Meals on Wheels: Mail or deliver checks payable to Forsyth County Senior Services, Holiday Gift Certificate Program, to the center at 595 Dahlonega Hwy. Cumming, GA 30040.

As the “Christmas Song” notes, the holiday season is for kids from ages 1 to 92.

And to not forget the county’s oldest children, or those young at heart, Forsyth County Senior Services has a couple programs that give residents a chance to share the spirit.

People can donate gifts for the holidays or buy meal gift certificates for the Meals on Wheels program to spread some cheer to seniors this season.

In the Holiday Gift Angels program, seniors list on a gift tag an item they would like to receive. Residents can then drop by or call the Center at Charles Place to take a tag and shop for a senior.

Unwrapped gifts with the tag should be dropped off at the center before Dec. 7.

Some of the items typically requested include gift certificates, robes, gloves, blankets and cookies, said Shelley Johnson, senior services director.

“They’re things that maybe you would think of getting for your grandparents,” she said. “[These are] usually not real high-priced items, but something that reminds them that someone cares about them.”

To give the gift of food, home-delivered meals for seniors can be purchased for as low as the price of a meal.

The cost is $3.45 per meal, $17.25 for a week, $75.90 for one month, and $897 for an entire year. All gifts are tax-deductible.

The program has experienced higher demand recently, Johnson said, and the winter months are often the peak time of year.

The cost of a meal has also gone up by 6 cents, she said, making it difficult to meet the senior services budget.

Meals delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day will include a special certificate wishing the senior happy holidays from the meal provider.

“Both of the programs make a great difference for seniors,” Johnson said. “It’s a very difficult time of year for many of them as they don’t have family. It gives them something to look forward to.”