Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, God Jul and Boze Narodezenie. Whatever your holiday tradition, the Office for the Aging sends wishes to you for a wonderful holiday season. We hope that those of us who have family and friends around us remember those who are less fortunate during the holidays.
As part of our holiday tradition, OFA will continue to make and distribute Christmas baskets to solitary seniors. We hope to have 120 baskets this year to bring some joy to seniors who are alone during the holidays. Since county and grant funds can not be used for this purpose, OFA relies on the generous donations from many county employees, several area churches, and businesses to put this project together. Past donors include: Marge Crandall, Nancy Crandall, County Executive Greg Edwards, Kim Endress, Linda Hepler, Celeste Horton, Jan Kasprzyk, Maureen Langebartle, Debbie Lilliestedt, Barb Lucariello, Debbie Moore, Dan Polowy, Edward Schmidt, Jacqueline Smith, Kathleen Sullivan, Betty Wisler, Kari Wendel. OFA Staff, Blair Corporation, Blue Star Mothers, Dunkirk Senior Center, Chautauqua Adult Day Care, Chautauqua County Fiscal Department, Chautauqua County Health Department, Chautauqua County IDA, Chautauqua County Mental Hygiene Department, Chautauqua County Law Deptartment, Deptartment of Public Facilities, DMV, DSS Cost Avoidance Unit, Faith Based Initiative (FBI), First Presbyterian Church in Dunkirk, Harvest Chapel Free Methodist Church. K-Mart Jamestown, Mayville Food Pantry, Lakewood Baptist Church, LSS Senior Housing. Paws 'n Pals 4H Club, RSVP, St Mary's of Lourdes Parish, Trail Riders 4H Club, Tops Friendly Markets, Veterans Service Agency and Zion Tabernacle Church in Jamestown.
This year we are especially thankful for additional assistance from the residents of Chautauqua Institution and Hurlburt Church for working with Wegmans supermarkets to provide a special holiday meal for each basket. If you would like to assist with Christmas baskets for solitary seniors by donating an item or helping to distribute baskets, call our OFA office at 753-4471, 363-4471 or 661-7471 for a list of needed items and more information.
No matter how stressful or difficult life gets, there are always others who are in a worse situation and nothing makes us realize how blessed we are like reaching out to someone in need. This can be as simple as sending a card in the mail, caroling, shoveling a walkway or visiting with someone who has difficulty getting out. Maybe you have time to assist a neighbor who doesn't drive so that they can do their holiday shopping or maybe you can pick up groceries for them while you get your own. If you are so inclined there are many organizations besides OFA that are in need of help this holiday season. Consider ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, serving a meal at Rural Ministries or helping out in Joint Neighborhood Project's Christmas store. Involving children and grandchildren in these activities ensures that the tradition of giving and helping stays vibrant in our community.
Thank you to everyone who has supported and assisted OFA this past year. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday tradition, I hope that the spirit of giving continues to touch your heart and that the kindness you bestow on others comes back to you ten-fold. From all the staff at Office for the Aging, we wish you very wonderful holiday and many blessings in the New Year. Stay well!