Annual holiday gift drive to support older adults in St. Lawrence County – WWTI –

CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Help support a senior in need this holiday season.
The St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging is hosting its 8th Annual Holiday Gift Drive for local older adults it services.
The Office sees thousands of older residents every year, however, it services community members of all ages. Its annual gift drive will help bring support to those enrolled in the Office’s home-delivered meal program.
“So what we do is we collect contributions from our community members, local businesses,” Office for the Aging Director Andrea Montgomery said. “And then from there we will buy gift cards and put together some gift baskets, gift bags and give it to folks that are involved in our home-delivered meal program.”
The home-delivered meal program currently supports over 650 adults in the county who have two or more chronic illnesses that keep individuals homebound. But its enrollment has only increased since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
According to Montgomery, from March 2020 to May 2020, the Office had a 40% increase in demand for services.
“Particularly at that point, older adults were staying at home, you know, and trying to keep it safe as possible,” Montgomery said. “We didn’t have the vaccine available. We didn’t have other options and we were learning about COVID.”
But even now, in November of 2021, she said the Office continues to stay at about a 30% increase in demand for services.
To support these individuals, the annual gift drive is asking for contributions from the community. Last year the Office for the Aging’s gift drive supports 250 adults. This year, Montgomery is hoping to exceed this number in 2021.
The Office for the Aging is mainly seeking monetary donations but will accept gift cards, such as pharmacy gift cards. Gifts will be delivered during the holiday season with participants’ meals.
Donations can be mailed to the St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging, 80 State Highway 310, Suite 7, Canton, NY 13617.
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