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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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"The Caring Tree" For Meal Site Participants

Issue Date: December 9, 2020

For most people, Christmas and New Years brings happiness, joining together with family, and dinners around the table. This year's holiday season is going to look a lot different for most, especially for the elderly. Elderly Services is asking for your help to bring some holiday joy to homebound seniors in Marinette County.

Elderly Services has had a "Caring Tree" at area Meal Sites for the past two years. Staff, volunteers, and meal site participants could pick an ornament off of Christmas trees with a wish list from one of the home delivered meal participants. They would then purchase gifts for them and have meals on wheels drivers deliver the gifts along with their meal before Christmas. The donors would spend between $10 and $20 on the person they had picked from the "Caring Tree".

Actually, the Home Delivered Meal Program has increased almost 30% due to Covid-19, and are serving many more seniors who could use some extra cheer during this difficult time.

As you know, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, many of the homebound elderly have been very isolated and lonely. This can cause mental and physical harmful affects on this very vulnerable population. Self-isolation has severely affected elderly individuals who have no social contact with family or friends, in an effort to keep themselves protected from this virus. In the United States, approximately one-quarter of Community Dwelling Seniors are considered to be socially isolated, and 43% of them reported feeling lonely.

Elderly Services has been organizing some fun activities to try and combat the feelings of social isolation. Some examples include sending adult coloring books and markers, word search contests, and inspirational quotes to our home delivered meal participants.

Although there are no traditional giving trees this year, people can still bring some holiday cheer to the elderly that reside in Marinette County.

Elderly Services is reaching out to anyone who would like to be involved in gift giving to the homebound elderly. People may purchase a gift for a man, woman, something gender neutral, or even a gift card. Please wrap it, mark if it's gender specific, and mail or drop off the gift at the main office in Crivitz. They will place a large bin outside of the building for one's convenience and will check it daily. Meals on wheels drivers will deliver the gifts to the homebound participants throughout the county before the new year.

There is no better time to try and brighten the lives of so many people suffering from sadness and loneliness due to this pandemic. Although the holidays will be different this year, they hope everyone can stay positive, reach out to friends and family who may be struggling, and maybe make some new traditions.

Their address is: Marinette County Elderly Services, 516 N. Hwy 141, P.O. Box 456, Crivitz, WI 54114.

If questions, contact Marinette County Elderly Services at (715) 854-7453 or (800) 990-4242.


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