KOTA Cares: Elder Angel Tree helps combate loneliness during the holidays
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Joy and excitement are what people hope to feel during the holidays but for many elderly people, this time of year can bring a feeling of loneliness and sadness.
On this week’s KOTA Cares, we showcase how one organization is working to spread a little cheer this holiday season.
Last year the organization collected more than 900 gifts. This Christmas they are hoping to top that number by collecting more than 1,500.
“We saw that during the COVID pandemic that loneliness among our senior population was really an epidemic and it was just a way that we could spread a little joy during the holiday season and help people feel not so alone,” said Jenny Schmidt, owner of Black Hills Advocate.
Additionally, Black Hills Advocate is partnering with local nonprofit Sequel to reach even more people in need.
Black Hills Advocate is also partnering with Meals on Wheels of Western South Dakota once again for this year’s Elder Angel Tree.
Many of the elderly people who receive Meals on Wheels deliveries are often homebound and low-income.
“Last year we had a person that told us they hadn’t received a present of any kind in over 15 years. They had been living alone, their family passed away”, said George Larson, executive director for Meals on Wheels of Western South Dakota. “This was the first Christmas present of any kind that they had received in that whole time. The joy, the crying, the smiles, you can’t put into words what something like that means, especially for the holiday season.”
Black Hills Advocate will collect gifts until Dec. 9.
To purchase a gift for the Elder Angel Tree, click here.
Gifts can be dropped off or mailed to Black Hills Advocate at 318 Mount Rushmore Road in Suite C, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To learn how to volunteer at Meals on Wheels of Western South Dakota, click here.
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