The phrase “spreading a little Christmas cheer” has a special meaning for two local women who believe Christmas is about giving.
For Angie Socha and Melody Cobb, this time of year is about bringing joy to the elderly living in nursing homes and other senior care facilities in the El Campo area.
In its fourth year, Adopt A Grandparent is spearheaded by Socha and Cobb, along with many volunteers. Their goal, as stated on the AAG Facebook group page reads: “Our purpose driven goal is an outreach opportunity to serve our elderly residents which reside in nursing homes, senior living facilities, or are shut-in. The emphasis of Adopt A Grandparent EC happens during the holidays and is to bring joy to our local elderly residents through the Christmas season, by sponsoring them with what could be the only gift they receive this Christmas and if allowed hosting a Christmas celebration for them.”
For as little as $10, anyone can sponsor a resident at a local senior care facility. With that donation, a resident will receive a Christmas care package.
“Ten dollars does so much. Special care packages are full of goodies,” Cobb said. “We will make sure every resident receives one.”
In years past, Adopt A Grandparent volunteers traditionally delivered gifts to residents and provided entertainment and refreshments, however, this year that will not happen because of precautionary measures being taken due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to our current situation with COVID and everything going on, things will look a little different,” Socha said. “It’s not going to be our traditional Adopt A Grandparent. There are going to be some changes, some things that will be back and forth, we really don’t ever know with the nursing homes and other facilities what we will be allowed to do at this point.”
When Cobb and Socha began making plans for this holiday project, they weren’t sure what they would or would not be allowed to do.
“With COVID, with the flu, we just don’t really know,” Socha said.
The two began making adjustments, because they didn’t want to give up on the idea.
“We don’t want to give up out project,” Socha said. “Because we love our project, El Campo loves our project. We are just asking for patience and prayers ... lots of prayers.”
While nursing home officials have given permission for residents to receive gifts, visitors with Adopt A Grandparent will not be allowed in. Packages may only be dropped off at senior care facilities.
In addition to care packages, Cobb and Socha are asking for baked goods, which residents look forward to each year.
“We have some wonderful bakers that are behind the scenes ... they have been doing this for years, baking for our parties,” Socha said. “Residents look forward to the treats.”
“This is such a huge blessing for our residents,” Cobb added.
Christmas cards are also being suggested this year, because of the visitation restrictions.
“This year we are asking for homemade Christmas cards for our residents since we are unable to have parties,” Cobb said. “It can be an actual Christmas card decorated on the inside.”
They are also taking donated items that could serve as bingo prizes.
Residents will receive a gift package, baked goodies and Christmas cards, but more is being planned to make this a fun event.
“This year we are thinking of how to create some fun,” Socha said.
The idea of an outdoor parade where residents can watch from the comfort of their own chair or bed is being planned.
“We need volunteers ... wear festive outfits and parade around the facilities ... giving them a little bit of joy,” Socha said.
Donations can be made via Venmo @ AdoptAGrandparentEC or by mailing a check payable to Socha or Cobb, because Adopt A Grandparent is not yet a non-profit organization.
“We are still in the process of becoming at 501c3,” Cobb said. “Adopt A Grandparent EC ... we are excited about this.”
To send in your donation, mail checks to: Angie Socha, 1310 Wendel, El Campo, TX 77437. Or drop off a check or cash to Socha at El Campo Dental Clinic, 105 N. Washington.
“We have gotten a few donations,” Socha said. “We would like to have everything in by Dec. 10.”
Socha and Cobb are also counting on volunteers, who they say they could never have done this without them.
“This is a community effort ... it would not happen without our amazing community standing behind us,” Cobb said. “It means the world to us.”
For additional information or to find out how you can volunteer, contact Angie Socha, 979-541-6385 or Melody Cobb, 979-541-7291.