Deadline this week for Meals on Wheels Christmas gifts

Time is running short, but the Piedmont Agency on Aging is hoping for a few more gifts for its Meals on Wheels Holiday Gift Bag Program, preferably by this Thursday afternoon.

“Laurens County has about 125 people who receive Meals on Wheels on a regular basis,” said Tracey Bedenbaugh, chief operating officer with Piedmont Agency on Aging. “Each year we try and provide gift bags with items for the Meals on Wheels clients, and I’m sure because of COVID and so many agencies with needs this year we’re running low on our gift items.”

In Greenwood, Saluda, Abbeville and Laurens counties, staff members and volunteers deliver Meals on Wheels to about 500 individuals each week of the year.

“In some cases these gift bags will be the only Christmas gifts they receive,” Bedenbaugh said. 

Those willing to gather items for the gift bags can deliver them to the Clinton Piedmont Agency on Aging location, 512 Professional Park, Clinton, by this Thursday afternoon, Dec. 10, or call for questions to 864-938-0572, and they can be placed just inside the door.

Then this Friday, Dec. 11, volunteers will gather at the main center, 808 Emerald Road in Greenwood, to organize the items in gift bags. Bedenbaugh said hopefully there will be enough items for all of the clients, including those scattered throughout the rural areas of Laurens County. Delivery of the gift bags will begin Monday, Dec. 14.

Items requested for the holiday gift bags include all types of personal hygiene items such as boxes of tissue, tooth paste and packaged toothbrush, pump or bar soaps, lotion, band aids and handi-wipes. Other needed items include wash cloths, cotton socks for men or women, breakfast cereal bars, tea or coffee, candies, notecards and pens, fleece blanket throws, crossword or word find puzzle books, 2021 calendars and large Christmas gift bags.

“To safely deliver, we are asking that all volunteers wear a mask and they can drop the bags off right inside the door of the center,” Bedenbaugh said, adding that while it’s late notice, gifts delivered too late for next week’s meal run would be alright, because they could still be delivered to Laurens County clients after Christmas.

For those who prefer making a financial contribution instead of purchasing items, checks can  be sent to Piedmont Agency on Aging, P.O. Box 997, Greenwood, S.C. 29648 or donate online at www.piedmontaoa.com.

Piedmont Agency on Aging in Laurens County began in 2015, taking over the services which had previously been offered by Senior Options. The center, located near the Prisma Laurens County Hospital, provides a variety of senior services, including Meals on Wheels, a congregate meal program and an Adult Day Care. The center has continued opening as much as possible during the pandemic, Bedenbaugh said.

To volunteer or to learn more about Meals on Wheels and the agency’s other services, call Christine Pyles at 864-938-0572, or go to the website.

The website also has easy access for making donations for the Meals on Wheels program. The center address is 512 Professional Park, Clinton.

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