Local assisted living community Cameron Hall joins the Gilmer Senior Center this holiday season for an outreach effort focused on homebound senior citizens.
A Christmas gift drive is conducted by the Senior Center each year. Donations of clothing and food items are usually collected.
However, the downtown Ellijay center, which would normally still be providing its weekly schedule of meals and activities for seniors, has been closed to the public for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, confirmed Gilmer Senior Center Director Vicki Stonecipher.
“The center is not open to seniors right now, but my staff and I are there Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., and MATS is there five days a week,” Stonecipher added.
Cameron Hall is serving as an additional donation drop-off point for the drive, although items can be brought there or to the senior center, located at 111 North Gilmer Street, during its operating hours.
“We have done Toys for Tots before, but this is the first year we’ve partnered with the Senior Center (for a drive). Many people collect for Toys for Tots, which is a very worthy endeavor, but we didn’t want to forget about our seniors. They’ve had an extra rough year, too,” said Jessi Barton, Cameron Hall Ellijay’s community relations director.
The drive is currently underway and needed donation items include warm socks, blankets, snacks like pudding, Jell-O and fruit cups, puzzles, games, crossword or word search books and toiletries like body wash, shampoo and conditioner. It will all be delivered to the Senior Center and distributed in gift boxes Christmas week, Barton noted.
“My staff and volunteers will deliver to our home bound seniors. For congregate seniors, we will have a drive-thru pickup day,” said Stonecipher.
Donations can be dropped off until Dec. 4 at Cameron Hall, 114 Penland Street. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. On weekends, a donation box is set up in front of the building, noted Barton.
“We have to keep the doors locked and screen everybody who comes in,” she added “To leave donations during the week, you can just pull up to our covered portico area and ring the doorbell to make sure we get it, or we can help you get it out of your car.”
For more details, contact Cameron Hall Ellijay: 706-515-4100 or the Gilmer Senior Center: 706-635-7688.