IDAHO — It's the season of giving, and what better way to give back to our community than to adopt a senior in one of our Treasure Valley memory care or assisted living facilities?
A group that has been affected tremendously by the pandemic.
“It’s just been deathly quiet," said Deirdre Kempe, Owner of Golden Years Assisted Living. "All the activity, all the everything that goes into our day is just down to more of a lull because people aren’t coming and going, and the residents feed off that energy, and it just hasn’t been there.”
Due to COVID-19, visits to senior care facilities are either limited or prohibited, which means most of them won't get to spend the holidays with their family.
“This is going to be the last Christmas for many of them, and the families don’t get to join in. It’s hard,” said Kempe.
But, a local nonprofit, Allona's Angels, is making sure the seniors in our community have something to celebrate Christmas morning with their Adopt a Senior program.
An idea that was inspired by a personal experience when Trina Hanson's mom was in an assisted living facility in 2016.
“We had her switched over to a memory care facility. It was towards the end of November, and I had asked one of the caregivers there what the process was for Christmas. Do we bring in gifts? Do they have a party? What do we do?" said Hanson, co-founder of Allona's Angels. "And she said that a lot of their residents there don’t even get gifts or visitors during that time, so it just broke my heart.”
That's when Hanson and her sister knew they had to do something, and Allona's Angels was founded.
The non-profit is asking for the communities help to provide gifts, stockings, and donations that they will deliver to the seniors to open on Christmas morning.
“We have an angel giving tree, so you just go to the tree, and then there are a bunch of different options. You can do just a stocking, a gift that is approximately $25 or under, or a $50 gift and stocking, or you can do a special donation and that’s really for the seniors who really don’t have family,” said Hanson.
Allona's Angels are currently filling 14 facilities in the Treasure Valley now and 11 more are asking for their help.
Since this year the facilities won't get to have their big holiday parties with Santa, these gifts mean so much to the seniors.
“The smiles that you see. The delight that you see," said Kempe. "It’s the little things. You come back to what brings you joy, and it's not so much what they get. It's that they got something that someone cared enough to do it."
Even something as simple as a card.
“They treasure those. They put them on their walls. They put them in their doors," said Kempe. "We do Christmas cards, so we are trying to keep as many traditions as we can.”
100 percent of the donations go to the seniors at memory care and assisted living facilities in our community.
Allona's Angels has many different gift-giving options. To adopt a senior or to donate, visit allonahsangels.org.
Or visit their Facebook page, Allona's Angels.