Half of the floor and tables at the Elk Grove Food Bank Services offices were covered with Christmas gifts during the afternoon of Dec. 11.
Each present was marked for a local senior citizen who was “adopted” by a community member as part of an Adopt-A-Senior project organized by the food bank and the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce. Gifts ranged from simple socks and blankets to the new television set that was given to a senior whose television broke at home.
“Elves” or volunteers from the Chamber later delivered presents to 235 seniors across Elk Grove, the food bank announced. This is a high increase from last year’s project when 21 seniors received gifts.
“It’s just to give our seniors a little bit of Christmas joy,” project coordinator and food bank executive assistant Kim Gillian told the Citizen.
She noted that some of the recipients live in low-income households and they receive groceries from the food bank every month.
“Some of them don’t have a lot of family or the family can’t visit and are out-of-town,” Gillian aid.
She said that 204 people donated gifts to the project this year. Gifts were collected over the past few weeks and were based on wish lists that volunteers compiled after they contacted seniors.
“Needs this holiday season are extraordinary to say the least,” said Angela Perry, the president/CEO of the Elk Grove Chamber. “With this in mind, the Chamber was thrilled to support the food bank with an (Adopt-A-Senior) program.”
Several donors carried gifts into the food bank’s office during the Citizen’s visit. Chuck Snyder, a longtime volunteer for the South Sacramento Food Closet, brought a small armload of presents that included clothing and hand cream.
“I just like giving help to people in the community,” he said.
Carrie Gonzalez, a staff member of the Windsor Elk Grove nursing home, brought gifts for a local senior named, Michael.
“I think it’s an amazing job – it’s the first time I heard of it,” she said about the Christmas gift project. “I’d like to contribute to it every year.”
Tracey Edwards, an Elk Grove Soroptimist and a 2020 Elk Grove Citizen of the Year, decorated a stack of presents to resemble a snowman.
“My hope is that the adopted seniors get as much out of this experience as the Santas did,” she told the Citizen. “For me, it brought me joy to do something for someone else. I could have made it beautiful, but I wanted to bring a smile to her face, to lift up her spirits in 2020. So, I made a snowman.”