It may be spring, but it is never too early to start thinking of how you can support those in need during the holiday season or throughout the year. While many celebrate the holidays surrounded by friends, family and gifts under the tree, it is important to remember those who may be without, including local foster children, dependent adults and seniors.
Over 90 local community partners and individuals from businesses, government agencies, service groups and families donate gifts that allow the County to continue to provide gifts year after year.
“Coordinating this program has been truly fulfilling,” said Tonja Edelman, Volunteer and Student Intern Services Coordinator. “The generous gifts and contributions from local community partners and the teamwork of volunteers have made the Gifts from the Heart program possible for 30 years and counting.”
The success of the Gifts from the Heart program not only lies with the kind sponsors but also with the wonderful volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours, helping to organize and distribute gifts. Each year, a team of over 50 volunteers manages the pick-up, distribution and delivery of gifts from community and private sponsors. The volunteers, many of whom return year after year, spend weeks in the warehouse organizing toys and gifts to be delivered or picked up by social workers.
In 2018, program and community partner volunteers donated over 12,370 hours at an estimated $360,000 value.
Gifts from the Heart provided more than 3,300 gifts to children, teens and seniors in Sacramento County during the 2018 holiday season. The program welcomes all who are interested in participating by sponsoring gifts, becoming a community partner and volunteering time during the season.
However, the holiday season is not the only time you can donate or volunteer to support seniors in the community. Senior and Adult Services welcomes year-round donations. In fact this week, Liberty Home Equity Solutions, Inc., a business located in Rancho Cordova, coordinated with the department to set up an office collection of basic necessities for seniors. The staff at Liberty Home Equity Solutions, Inc. put together gift bags that included lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, chapstick, crossword puzzles, fuzzy no-slip socks and more for social workers to bring to senior clients in need.