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10/23/2019 - Southbury Senior Services Prepares for 2019 Holiday Cheer Distribution

The Southbury Senior Services Department is busy preparing for the holidays and their annual Holiday Cheer drive. This annual drive brings gift bags to seniors identified by the Senior Services Department as either needy or in need of cheer. Senior Services Director Tamath K. Rossi, who also is the Town of Southbury’s Municipal Agent, said this annual program has a positive impact on the many senior recipients and on our team who help put together the gift bags and our drivers that deliver them. “Every year almost a full month is spent reviewing our membership and rider list to identify seniors that are in need or seniors who may just be experiencing a challenging time and could use something to bring a smile to their face. “Through my interactions with seniors in my Municipal Agent role, I am also able to identify an even greater group that is not captured through our membership or transportation services. This year I am also working with Grace Meadows to ensure we include as many seniors in our community that could benefit from this program. We are so grateful for the continued support of the Southbury Needy Fund, The Heritage Village Giving Tree Club, The Heritage Village Stripes and Squares Quilters and the many residents/secret gifters that contribute every year to this cause.” Said Rossi.

Rossi explained, “Our gift bags vary in size and contents. If we have a senior that has lost a spouse, is lonely, had a recent illness, we love to send some simple items to cheer them such as a mug with some teas and hot chocolates, a special snack and a puzzle book. In the case of needy seniors, we send bags that could include a gift card for groceries, a transportation gift card for our bus services, household goods, or if we know they are pet owners, dog/cat food. We are grateful for the monetary donations and the many items that are donated to us that permit us to continue this program.”

Due to the time that is required to assemble and delivery the packages Rossi has explained a deadline is set to assist in this process. The deadline for donations this year is Friday, December 6. “All recipients are kept confidential and we utilize a numeric system for distribution and only Senior Services team members prepare the bags to ensure confidentiality. It is a huge undertaking with over 100 gift bags being prepared every year, but the joy it brings the seniors is immeasurable. Our offices are always flooded by surprised and grateful calls, cards and emails after the bags are delivered. It brings the true meaning of the holiday season to our center and to our seniors.” While monetary donations are always welcome, Rossi also provided a list of items that they are seeking for this year’s distribution as follows:

  • Stamps
  • large print books
  • adult coloring books
  • colored pencils
  • puzzle/crossword books
  • word search puzzle books
  • sweaters
  • slippers
  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • laundry detergent
  • toilet paper
  • shampoo
  • moisturizing lotions
  • cat food
  • dog food
  • kitty litter
  • dog biscuits
  • Bus Cards for the Senior Center bus (in town cards $15 or $20 and Dial a Ride Medical Bus $15)

Anyone interested in donating may bring the donated items to the Southbury Senior Center Office at any time between now and December 6, 2019. The Center is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 Am to 4:30pm and Friday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.