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Donation drive to benefit homebound seniors in Rowan and surrounding counties

Gateway Area Development District

Gateway Area Development District invites people across Rowan and surrounding counties to donate a variety of gifts for senior citizens this holiday season. The Santa’s Secret Helpers program is in its second year.

Emily Jordan is the director of operations at Gateway ADD. She said these gifts are meant to spread holiday cheer to a population that may not otherwise be able to celebrate with others or take part in gift exchanging.

“Those homebound individuals, they are not always able to get out and come to the senior center. A lot of them unfortunately are homebound in the fact that, you know, they don’t have transportation services, or they have medical conditions that limit them from getting out and socializing with others,” said Jordan.

Donations, including presents and monetary gifts, can be dropped off at any Gateway senior center or their main office by December 20th.

Jordan said gifts like crossword books, personal care items, and blankets are always appreciated. Jordan also encourages people to get creative when choosing their donations.

“They can never have enough Chapstick and lotion, nail files, that’s a big one. Any sort of like crackers, or little candy baskets, sugar-free candy options, sort of thinking outside the box. You know, what would my grandma want? Or what would my mother want? They want off-the-wall things, too,” said Jordan.

Jordan said older residents are encouraged to visit their local Gateway senior center to participate in games or activities if they are able. Meals are also handed out at the senior centers 11:30 a.m. every weekday.

More information about holiday and year-round programs can be found at the Gateway Area Development District website.