[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
The Seniors of Walpole are one of the busiest groups in the town. From local performances to weekly bingo and Wii Bowling tournaments with the local high schoolers, their schedules are packed. However, this doesn’t stop them from taking time to help out during the Holiday season. This past Monday, Walpole Seniors, with some help from the Walpole Fire Department, wrapped gifts for seniors in need this season.
The project is put together by Home Instead Senior Care, and for the past five years has been organized by Laurie Blake. “We do outreach every year - this is our biggest give back program that we do,” Blake explained. “I work with different facilities all over the state and they identify seniors that fall under the criteria of not having the monetary means to celebrate the holidays or not having family to celebrate the holiday with. Unfortunately, often times, that’s both.”
Seniors and fire fighters alike gathered around the tables to wrap gifts for those in need. Laying on the table are a number of different gifts. How do they get there? Blake explained: “Once those folks are identified, we get a wish list item from each one of them. These wish list items are on tags on the items. People go in and purchase the gift and then return with it unwrapped, and then we have wrapping parties like here today. The wrapping party is seniors giving back to seniors.”
This year, Home Instead sponsored six different wrapping parties and will be delivering 350 presents. “The distribution starts on Wednesday, and I have high school students that dress up as elves to distribute the gifts,” Blake said. The students come from King Philip in Wrentham, where her own kids go, as well as Need to Lead in Norwood, a volunteer group led by Rob Riley. Home Instead provided the paper, tape, scissors, ribbons and boxes needed to do all of the wrapping. The rest was up to the seniors and their firefighter helpers.