BY MELANIE BUCK –
Seventy-four elderly seniors have benefitted this year in the largest Santas for Seniors program in Polk County yet. The program, in its fifth year, is sponsored each year by the county’s eleven 4H clubs. “It’s a great way to help the elderly in need when they don’t normally get a lot,” said Keilah Barney, a 16-year member of Kountry Kids 4H Club in Cherry Hill. “It seems like people make it more about the kids so we want to help the elderly,” she explained why they choose to help seniors during this special time of year.
Extension Agent Carla Vaught and Sue Oglesby have been a big part of the program, gathering applications, collecting gifts, etc. “This is the biggest year yet,” said Vaught. Not only were gifts purchased for adopted angels off of the tree, food baskets were also put together. “We have snack buckets, fresh potatoes and sweet potatoes, rice, beans, peanut butter, fruit, banana nut bread, eggs, and more,” Oglesby explained.
They expressed how thankful they are that all the angels were adopted and will have something special for Christmas.
David Lehmann, member of Mountain Fork Growing Clovers 4H Club, who will help deliver the packages this week, said, “I really like delivering the gifts and seeing the smiles. It helps spread the Christmas cheer.”