FINDLAY, OH (Nov. 22, 2022) Entering its third year, United Way of Hancock County’s Senior Cheer program is back, accepting your uplifting cards, notes, art or small gifts designed to brighten the day of seniors living in local care facilities.
In the past year, United Way delivered about 1,800 items of Senior Cheer to seven participating care facilities in the county. That is more than double the 2020-21 season of cheer.
“Everybody has someone they know in one of those facilities — a gramma, a grampa, a neighbor, a friend,” said Maria Sellers, a United Way Volunteer Ambassador who delivers Senior Cheer and played a major role in the start of the program. “Maybe they can receive something that will make their day. It’s a great way to help, whether a group, a team, a class or one person — you know what you’ve made will be distributed and it will make a difference.”
United Way of Hancock County started Senior Cheer in 2020 as a way to reach out to seniors who were isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic and to offer a remote volunteering option for those who wanted to help their community. In 2022 and heading into 2023, seniors living in care facilities are still a population requiring extra protection and continue to be more isolated than before the pandemic.
“This community is amazing in its outpouring of support for seniors through this program,” said Angela DeBoskey, United Way of Hancock County CEO. “We see the Senior Cheer coming in and these sweet gestures from kids, gifts and cards from adults and groups, they brighten our day to see it. There is no doubt in my mind they are bringing smiles to seniors.”
Senior Cheer is a great opportunity to spread cheer for whole classrooms or groups, as well as individuals.
How to Send Cheer
Currently, seven Hancock County care facilities are partnering in the program. Cheer will be delivered to facilities on a rotating basis to ensure it is distributed evenly.
Groups or individuals interested in signing up for Senior Cheer can email United Way’s Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or call the office at 419-423-1432. Care facilities that would like to join the program are encouraged to call or email as well.
Volunteers and recipients are encouraged to email a selfie or photo as they create or receive cheer, as an additional way for all to connect and build excitement. Photos received will be shared on United Way of Hancock County’s social media.
Cheer can be dropped off at the United Way office, 318 W. Main Cross St., second floor. There is a bin outside the office door upstairs or come inside the office to drop off. For gifts, facilitators suggest: lip balm, sweet treats (no nuts, no homemade), large-print word search, large-print books, or large-print crossword puzzles. Please label your cheer with the number of items, the group or individual it is from, and a way to reach you.
A few highlights of last year’s cheer included the Findlay High School Softball team decorating Mason jars for Easter; the United Way of Hancock County Community Connections group putting together vases of carnations and crafts for Valentine’s Day; a corporate group from Cooper Tires assembling more than 200 beautiful Easter baskets; the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library hosting events for kids and their tween group to assemble crafts and cards; several area church youth groups sending cards, crafts, candies and small gifts; an individual who creates fun newsletters for seniors to read; and University of Findlay students sending cards and small gifts.