GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Around this time of year, attention typically turns to children and fulfilling their holiday wish lists, but one organization is focusing on those young at heart.
For these three seniors growing up in the Great Depression, the holidays didn’t feel like they do today. Gifts were hard to come by, small trinkets were treasured and even an imperfect gift meant everything.
“I remember during the Depression…how it was… and how hard it was,” recalled Myrtle Rediger. “We were poor and it was during the Depression, so we didn’t get gifts. So if I get a gift, it really means something to me because it’s so rare.”
“I was glad to get my shoes for ten cents to wear, I had new shoes for Christmas and even though they were long and they come to a really sharp point but yet they were new,” said Marjorie Tucker.
“We got milk with little cartons, was given to us by the school,” recalled Roger Drabin, “I used to save the tops because they had little designs on them.”
After decades of Christmases with and without gifts, this year one organization wants to make sure for these, and hundreds of other Josephine County seniors, that the holidays come with a visit from Santa.
“It’s not so much about the gift really, as it is about having someone there to share the holidays with, a smile, a friendly face,” Indra Nicholas, with Home Instead Senior Care.
Home Instead Senior Care in Grants Pass is asking you to be a Santa to a senior. It’s decorated trees throughout Grants Pass, each decorated with paper ornaments, labeled with a gift idea. The seniors’ wish lists, including everything from the necessities to the simple joys.
“I’m glad it’s happening because I need a new jacket something fierce,” Drabin said.
“Chocolate! I hate to say it out loud, but that was the first on my list always. We couldn’t afford it when i was little and I’ve sure made up for it since then,” said Tucker.
Now, it’s the community’s chance to make up the difference for seniors celebrating alone.
“It’s a time of the year where we all give gifts to each other and care about each other and show our love of each other and our love of God,” Drabin said.
You can find the Christmas trees throughout Grants Pass at Home Instead Senior Care, Grants Pass Pharmacy, Club Northwest, The Full Service Salon Studio 121, Dutch Bros on the corner of D and 6th and the Josephine County Library. The deadline to take part is December 14th.