Mayor Martin Heines will kick off the 6th Annual Meals on Wheels Santas for Seniors holiday gift drive on Monday, November 20, 2017 during an event beginning at 11:00 a.m. hosted by Starbucks Coffee located at 4925 South Broadway Avenue in Tyler. After making an official proclamation, Mayor Heines will drop the very first gift of the season into the donation bin, kicking off the annual campaign for 2017.
“Many of the people we serve are elderly or disabled, and they live alone. The holidays can be especially lonesome for those who have lost loved ones, and aren’t able to celebrate with friends and family,” said Zoe Lawhorn, Vice President of Development and Public Relations for Meals on Wheels Ministry. “We began this gift drive six years ago, and the first year we heard so many sweet messages of thanks from our clients who would not have had a Christmas, if it weren’t for the gifts donated by caring people in the community.”
To participate, individuals can simply donate a new, unwrapped gift at any of the participating drop off locations across East Texas. Gifts such as personal comfort items (blankets, robes, house shoes, socks), small space heaters, and other mementoes will be collected by Meals on Wheels staff, wrapped in holiday style, and then personally delivered to homebound seniors and disabled individuals who are known to be living alone or in need the week of Christmas.
“Our site managers and volunteers identify clients who they know to be especially needy, living alone, or both, and we make sure they receive a gift,” said Lawhorn. “We appreciate Alpha Media, and our drop off locations for their support each year in making all of this holiday cheer a reality for those we serve.”
Donations of new, unwrapped gift items will be collected at the following locations from November 20 – December 20, 2017: all Starbucks Coffee retail locations in Tyler; Altar’d State boutique in Broadway Square Mall; Orange Theory Fitness in Tyler; Buddy’s Home Furnishings in Tyler and Longview; all Alpha Media radio station locations, including 104.1 The Ranch, La Invasora, 106.5 Jack FM at 210 South Broadway Avenue, Suite 100 and 105.7 KYKX at 4408 US Highway 259 North in Longview, Texas; and all Meals on Wheels Ministry locations in East Texas.
A full list of suggested gift items is available on the Meals on Wheels Ministry website, www.mowmet.org.