With so many seniors feeling isolated and depressed during the pandemic, McHenry County outreach groups are organizing multiple events, including Valentine’s Day events, to improve the mental health of seniors. organizes the Adopt Grandparents program.

“COVID has made everything worse for people, especially for older people,” said Beverly Miles, a resident of Gablepoint, a senior housing facility in Crystal Lake run by the Lutheran Department of Social Services in Illinois. I feel more isolated,” he said. .

Another resident, Sharon Sanders, is battling ovarian cancer as well as isolation.

“Sometimes it’s really hard to accept loneliness,” Sanders said.

Like many others, Sanders has no relatives who live nearby.

“80% of the ones we find have families either out of state or no longer there. I just remind them that I met you.

Fisher Outreach Groups have helped many causes over the years, but in 2020 Richards turned his attention to helping older people. This comes after seeing social his media posts from a local nursing home about residents feeling depressed and isolated during the coronavirus lockdown.

Richards first organized the “Adopt Grandparents” vacation program to fulfill seniors’ vacation wish lists. It has since expanded to multiple events a year, including Valentine’s Day.

“We have six different facilities for over 500 low-income seniors and we plan to have goodie bags for them,” Richards says.

Currently, Richards is raising about a quarter of the donations needed to fill goodie bags with a variety of items available for purchase from Amazon, Target, and Walmart’s online wishlists. Gifts include crossword puzzles, coloring books, and toiletries such as soap and body wash.

They also often require a handmade card that goes into each goodie bag, which is the highlight of each gift.

“Oh my God, I couldn’t believe I got a Valentine’s card or a Valentine’s gift last year? I mean, I don’t get gifts like that anymore,” said an elderly Gablepoint resident who received a bag of Valentine’s goodies last year. Bonnie Castellonas said.

Resident Beverly Miles is a boost that all senior citizens can use right now, not just their neighbors.

“It’s like a dream come true for a lot of people. I’m sure it’s a dream come true,” Miles said.

“It makes you feel important. It makes you feel special. No. A lot of people say that.

“I don’t want to cry, but it’s great to have a group that can help you and do things for you.

If you or a local community group would like to make a handmade card for the “Adopt A Grandparent” Valentine’s Program, you can send it to:

Fisher Outreach Group Co., Ltd.

8600 US Hwy 14, Suite 106A, Crystal Lake, IL 60012

You can also click here to find our Goodie Bag wishlist.

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