The United Way of Hancock County has reinstated its Senior Cheer program to offer support to area seniors living in care facilities, as the pandemic wears on and levels of isolation continue.
“Last year, between classrooms, church groups, corporate groups, individuals, and other organizations, we were able to reach out to nearly 650 seniors with more than 750 pieces of cheer, said Sarah Mayle, volunteer coordinator for UWHC.
“It has been incredible to see such a strong outpouring of support from the community to brighten the day of our seniors. We’d love to see it again.”
Senior Cheer is a great opportunity to spread cheer for whole classrooms or groups, as well as individuals.
“It can be uplifting cards, notes, pieces of art, small gifts – really just about anything designed for a smile, goes,” Sarah said.
Currently, five Hancock County care facilities are enrolled in the program with the potential to reach about 300 seniors.
This winter, a team from the marketing department of Marathon Petroleum Corporation kicked off Senior Cheer’s first round of cheer, which included about 50 cards, puzzle books, cozy socks and lip balm.
The items were delivered to Birchaven Village. Senior Cheer will be delivered on a rotating basis to facilities to distribute it evenly.
Groups or individuals interested in signing up for Senior Cheer can email UWHC’s Volunteer Senior Cheer Manager at [email protected] or call the office at 419-423-1432.
UWHC will not reinstate last year’s pen pal program.
Both volunteers and recipients are encouraged to email a selfie or photo as they send or receive cheer for the program, an additional way for all to connect and build excitement.
Photos are not required, but those received will be shared on UWHC’s Facebook page.
Cheer and small gifts can be dropped off at UWHC’s new office – 318 W. Main Cross St., second floor – along with cheer.
Care facilitators suggest: Lip balm, sweet treats (no nuts, no homemade), large print word search, large print books, or large print crossword puzzles.