Santa for Seniors organizers need another 20 sponsors or so to bring cheer to everyone on their list.
“It’s sort of like a yo-yo. You get all the sponsors and then you get more seniors,” said Tammy Bryant, special populations coordinator for Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation.
The RFPRA partners with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office to make sure that elderly people without family or friends nearby get a gift for Christmas. Jimmy Allred of the sheriff’s office started the program 10 years ago, after he saw a woman at his grandmother’s nursing home wait in vain for someone to visit on Christmas Day.
So many different people do so much for the children, our youth, and that’s so important,” Bryant said. “But, at the same time, we don’t want to forget about our seniors who are alone.”
Last year the program served 101 seniors. This year, they’ve signed up 160. Bryant said sponsors are matched with a senior and typically spend $30 to $40 fulfilling their wish list.
“They’re not shopping blindly,” she said. “If it’s clothes, they’ll have the size. We’ll note if they’re diabetic, or if they can have sweets or snacks.”