This year, seniors will be receiving two gift bags — one from public donations across the county, and another with gifts donated by local businesses.
Community donors earlier this month gave gift bags including towel sets, lotion, pens, stationary, stamps and a card or note for seniors.
To add a little extra sparkle for the holidays, businesses have donated items for an extra gift bag filled with goodies, said Nathan Brandon, director of Cherokee County Senior Services.
“We put together a list of items of what we imagined being at a little table beside a person’s chair,” he said.
The Volunteer Aging Council took on the coordination of the community-donated gift sets last year and this year, freeing up time for Senior Services staff and leading to the idea of a companion gift set, he said.
Items donated by businesses for the extra gift bags include playing cards, lotions, toothbrushes, pens, sticky notes, emery boards and other items.
Georgia Medical Treatment Center employees Amy Williams and Jennifer McGrath started attending VAC meetings earlier this year and decided that they could help by gathering donations from businesses.
“Amy went around to as many companies as possible,” Brandon said.
A total of 15 businesses donated for the gift bags: Georgia Medical Treatment Center, Cameron Hall Senior Living, Emeritus Senior Living, Darby Funeral Home, Mid City Pharmacy, Williamson Brothers BBQ, Riverstone Dental, Regions Bank, Chandler Graphics, Doss Printing, The Lodge at Bridgemill, Colgate, Canton Heights Dental, Home Instead Senior Care, Woodstock Farmers Market, Jey Willis State Farm, Northside Pharmacy and Southeast Restoration Group.
“We just wanted to get involved because we wanted to give back to the community. The majority of our clients at Georgia Medical are 65 and older,” Williams said.
Thanks to donations and the VAC, the total cost to the county for the senior gifts was $400, Brandon said.
Rotary Club of Canton members stuffed the bags during their meeting Tuesday.
“We try to do a lot of outside service activities,” Rotary president Jeff Mitchell said. “Doing the in-meeting service allows an opportunity for a broader membership to participate.”
Both gifts bags will be delivered to 250 seniors through Meals on Wheels before Christmas.