With the gift-giving season vastly approaching, the M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center is doing its part to ensure Middletown-Odessa-Townsend senior citizens have a happy holiday this year.


    With the gift-giving season vastly approaching, the M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center is doing its part to ensure Middletown-Odessa-Townsend senior citizens have a happy holiday this year.
    For the fifth year, the senior center will host the “Adopt A Senior” program, in which anonymous donors donate presents to seniors in the area.
    Diane Hastings, outreach coordinator for the senior center, said the program is beneficial and enjoyable for community members.
    “I know times are hard for everybody,” she said. “But it makes you feel good at Christmas time when you’ve helped someone less fortunate than you.”
    Hastings said each senior that participates is given three wishes. The recipients are also anonymous to the donors.
    Donors are given the wishes, sizes and gender. The staff identifies the packages and who they go to by using a number.
    She said many seniors ask for practical gifts such as sweaters, snow boots, jeans, jogging suits and bathrobes.
    “Some ask for diabetic socks,” Hastings said. “Some are diabetic and the socks are expensive.”
    She said seniors also ask for lotions, silk scarves or Christmas ornaments.
    Hastings said a little more than 70 senior citizens participated in last year’s program. She is hoping to have 80 participants this year.
    She said seniors do not have to be members of the center to participate in the program.
    “I had a woman call me who’s all alone and she would just like a present to open on Christmas,” Hastings said. “[She] and her husband used to have big Christmases. He’s no longer with her, so she would just like to have something.”
    She said the seniors who take part in the program really enjoy it, and she would like to see it continue as long as possible.
    “I like to see them remembered and I like to see them happy,” Hastings said. “They have such great stories and a wealth of information.”
 

AT A GLANCE
• The M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center, 300 S. Scott St., Middletown, will host “Adopt A Senior” for the fifth year.
• The center is looking for interested seniors, businesses, organizations and individual sponsors to participate in this year’s program.
• For more information or to sign up, call 378-4758 by Sunday, Nov. 1.