UNION — Sponsors are needed for a program that provides gifts to residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers who might otherwise not receive any gifts for Christmas.
This week the City of Union became a “Tree” when Union City Council voted unanimously to donate $550 to WBCU’s “Operation Stocking Stuffer.” Tree is one of two levels of sponsorship for the program which provides Christmas gifts and cards to the residents of local nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“In the spirit of the holidays council thought it was a good thing to do for the elderly,” Mayor Harold Thompson said. “We have been doing things throughout the year for various entities around the city and this is one of the opportunities we have to do something for those in the nursing homes.”
An organization is designated an “Angel,” the next level of sponsorship, when it donates $850.
In addition to being designated a Tree, the city will receive 40 30-second commercials broadcast by the radio station as well as promotional announcements and will have the items and cards delivered by Operation Stocking Stuffer in its name.
Angel sponsors receive 80 30-second commercials and also receive promotional announcements and have items and cards delivered in their name.
WBCU President and CEO Chris Woodson thanked the city for its contribution to the program which he said is designed to ensure the elderly are not forgotten at Christmas.
“We feel that a lot of times our senior citizens are forgotten,” Woodson said. “With Operation Stocking Stuffer we see to it that our seniors in the nursing homes and assisted living facilities get presents.”
Woodson said the seniors are each given a gift bag which contains a Christmas card, lotion, a toothbrush, a razor, Kleenex, and assorted toiletry articles.
“We deliver these to the facilities and to the residents to make sure they have something for the holidays,” Woodson said. “We put all the bags together and try and deliver them the week of Dec. 16.”
While they carry the gifts, Woodson said the bags themselves are also enjoyed by the residents because they are decorated by students at Buffalo Elementary School.
“Buffalo Elementary School helps by decorating the bags with Christmas drawings,” Woodson said. “It’s a personal touch from a child and the seniors are really appreciative.”
Woodson thanked the students and thanked BES art teacher Ellen Lassiter who he said has been a pleasure to work with.
Lassiter said that the bags are decorated by the students during their art classes. She said that the bags are mainly decorated by second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students though a few from the first grade and 5K also work on them. Regardless of their ages, Lassiter said the students are all enthusiastic about decorating the bags for the seniors.
“I keep telling them that people who are closed in like this appreciate someone caring about them,” Lassiter said. “They get excited, their little faces open up and they ask who these things are going to.”
Woodson said that so far only a few groups are sponsoring this year’s Operation Stocking Stuffer and more are needed to ensure that all the elderly in the nursing homes and assisted living centers receive gifts. He said that anyone who wants to become an Operation Stocking Stuffer sponsor can call the station at 864-427-2411.
If however, someone prefers to donate toiletries to be placed in the gift bags, Woodson said they can bring them by the station which is located at 210 E. Main St., Union. The station is open 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org