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Texarkana program to help seniors at Christmas needs donations

by Andrew Bell | November 23, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

TEXARKANA, Texas -- HandsOn Texarkana, a local nonprofit that promotes volunteerism, is looking for donations for its Cozy Christmas Drive to give to Senior Transportation clients.

"We're asking for bigger, thicker blankets, scarves, socks and maybe crossword puzzles or something like that for them to work on," Executive Director Amy Lemley said. "We really want this to be something that's not just useful for them, but special."

HandsOn's Senior Transportation Program, which has served Texarkana citizens for about 37 years, is one of the nonprofit's core efforts. The program is designed for seniors who are over the age of 60 and have no other means of transportation.

The original purpose of the program was transportation, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused more needs to pop up. HandsOn responded by using its volunteer drivers for more food and grocery deliveries.

Now, HandsOn is looking to spread the Christmas spirit their way by finding them items for gift deliveries.

The Fouke High School cheerleaders have donated coffee mugs and hot chocolate to these seniors, so these donations would be meant to round out the Christmas giving to them.

"We're going to put that all together, add some things and wrap that up as a gift to deliver for these seniors," Lemley said.

This is the first year that HandsOn is adding these donations to the clients in the Senior Transportation program. Shanna Mudford, administrative assistant and transportation coordinator came up with this idea.

"As (Shanna) took on this role, she really saw a need with lifestyles and living arrangements with some of our clients," Lemley said. "And she came in with a 'I want to give back' attitude. That was the first thing she saw.

"Everyone gives this time of the year to children or the animal shelter, but no one is really focusing on the elderly that are at home. Our senior transportation clients do not have family, and they're pretty solitary all the time. So, she wanted to give them something that's not just a box handout, but something that's really special just for them for Christmas."

Items are needed by Dec. 3, and can be brought to the Collins Building at 1915 Olive St.

(For more information, call 903-798-3211 or email [email protected])

Print Headline: Texarkana program to help seniors at Christmas needs donations

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