Purple Santa

Caring Hearts Hospice is hosting its second annual Purple Santa Drive, which delivers gifts to seniors in need or alone this holiday season. Donations will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 13.

Rachel Reynolds, area director for sales and marketing, has been coordinating the program along with Chelsea Smith the owner of Caring Hearts Hospice. Both ladies work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to deliver the goodies and bring a smile to recipients.

“This is the first year in Henderson County with a huge response,” Reynolds said. Last year's event was started in Mineola.

Local businesses have reached out and even been having healthy competitions to see who can get the most donations.

This program is trying to reach the elderly citizens some of the other outreach groups may have missed. Utilizing organizations such as adult protective services, meals on wheels, adopt-a-grandparent and through speaking at churches, they find those in need. Likewise if you know of someone that is in need, they encourage you to call and nominate them.

“I’ve been doing home health and hospice for about 10 years,” Reynolds said. “To go and hear these people and their stories, they are the history of our county. Anytime I need something I can count on someone. Our seniors don’t have that. Hearing their legacies and stories knowing we have veterans living in storage buildings with no heat, if I can shed a little light on that, that is what pushes me.”

Items needed include comfort items such as comfy blankets, fuzzy socks, robes, warm pajamas etc.

Local businesses serving as drop sites include: Twisted Sisterz Athens, Groom and Sons Athens, Great Clips Athens, LaPoynor First Baptist Church, Integrity Urgent Care Athens and Elder Dodge Gun Barrell. If you are interested in hosting a box, call Rachel. If you know of someone in need, please call as well.

Some have delivered large load of blankets, and they are willing to pick the up as well.

The group also has a volunteer program for things as simple as a call on a senior citizen's birthday. There are many ways to be involved.

For more info please call Rachel at 903-288-3699.

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