By Harley Nefe
WAMY Community Action, celebrating its 56th year serving the communities of Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties, just wrapped up year two of its Santa for Seniors program, which was a great success.
WAMY Community Action has been working with individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty by offering many programs through the years. It currently offers programs in the following areas: housing repairs, senior services, family development and youth development.
“One of the largest gaps in our community is the support and services for the senior population,” said Ashley Cook, Development Director for WAMY Community Action.
Last year, WAMY Community Action launched its first ever Santa for Seniors Program, with the goal of making sure all the shut-ins in Hospice Care and the Home Delivered Meals Program received a gift for Christmas. Shut-ins are people who don’t have the means to leave home due to illness or lack of transportation or any other reason.
“We wanted them to know they are thought of and loved,” Cook said. “It was a huge success and brought smiles to so many. Many of these seniors do not receive anything during the Holidays — not even a visit from family members, especially because of COVID-19. Our goal this year was to brighten their day with a gift and spread holiday cheer!”
This year has been anything but easy and normal, and Cook said they expected to face a lot of challenges, both with fundraising and deliveries due to COVID-19. However, the community pulled together, and WAMY Community Action raised $2,233.44 and delivered 724 gifts.
The gifts contained basic items that are useful to those who cannot leave their home such as blankets, socks, lotion, chapstick and other items to keep one’s mind occupied such as crossword puzzles and coloring books.
With the gifts, WAMY Community Action served hospice patients, home delivered meals clients, many nursing homes and each person that was referred to the program in Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.
WAMY Community Action would like to extend special thanks to the organizations and gift donors who participated including Boone Service League, Howard’s Creek Baptist Church, The Rock Church, Crossnore Presbyterian Church, Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church, Pineola Presbyterian Church, Spruce Pine UMC, Something Special Gift Shop, Plum Branch Church, Ingles of Spruce Pine, Higgins UMC, First Baptist Burnsville, The Sock Factory and private donors.