IRON COUNTY – Cedar City seniors at Kolob Regional Care and Rehabilitation and Emeritus at Emerald Pointe will have a little extra under the tree this Christmas thanks to the help of community volunteers raising money to stuff stockings for the elderly.
Rebekah Karpel has set a goal, with the help of a friend, to gather enough funds to provide stockings full of goodies for 130 seniors who are living in residential facilities during the holidays this year. She was inspired to “Adopt a Grandparent” several years ago by a friend of hers who has been doing the same thing for some time.
“It’s not an organization,” she said. “It’s just people who have decided that in their communities they are going to do something nice.”
Karpel sells Mary Kay products and said that for each stocking her and her friend stuff, they plan to donate a hand cream and a foot massage lotion to sooth beneficiaries’ skin, but they also wanted to include something to warm their hearts.
“We’re doing a puzzle book for their minds, and fuzzy sock slippers for their feet to keep them warm, a teddy bear to show them they’re loved and snacks … you know, to try and meet all of their needs and just to say ‘we love you,’” she said.
Programs like these make such a big difference to the elders that dwell within the walls of the Emerald Pointe assisted living community, said Memory Care Director Gena Bixman. The love and care put into these gifts bring a smile to each and every face whether they have family close by to visit for the holidays, or not.
“Even more-so for those who don’t,” she said. “You know, knowing that they are being thought of and not forgotten, because that’s so easy to do in the hustle and bustle of everybody getting ready for the holidays.”
Which is exactly why Karpel said that she decided to jump on board with Adopt a Grandparent. Not having family in the area can be particularly rough during the holiday season, she said, and that it is her hope that while she is tending to the family of others whose relatives are too far away to be with them, others will be tending to her loved ones who she is unable to be with from afar.
This is her second year helping out by collecting $25 donations from the public and stuffing stockings full of goodies to deliver on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She said it has become a family affair and when she makes her Christmas Day deliveries her children will accompany her on the yule tide journey.
“At Emerald Pointe we’re going to go to their Christmas Eve party and hand out gifts,” she said. “And then at Kolob, we’re just going to show up Christmas Day, and go and visit each of them and give them their gift.”
Karpel is “low on the totem pole,” she said about participating in this gift giving extravaganza. Her friend that is helping her has also been doing this for two years, but the woman who inspired her has been doing it for seven.
Anyone who wants to participate is welcome to send their donation until Dec. 19. Each $25 donation will cover the complete cost of one senior’s gifts. Karpel can be reached by phone at 435-531-9584, or email to coordinate.
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