HCN News & Notes

Stockings for Seniors Benefit Drive Underway

By donating small stocking stuffers to be included in holiday bags, local citizens can provide needy seniors with joy and happiness. Small items can be dropped off at one of the Benchmark Senior Living communities in Western Mass.: Orchard Valley at Wilbraham, located at 2387 Boston Road in Wilbraham, or The Atrium at Cardinal Drive, located at 153 Cardinal Dr. in Agawam. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 15.

For the 10th anniversary Benchmark has set a goal to deliver 250 stockings to local Councils on Aging and Meals on Wheels programs, who in turn will deliver the stockings to needy seniors in local communities. 

Donors can contribute items of any quantity however individuals or organizations interested in donating quantities of items 50+ will be included in an acknowledgement letter inserted into each holiday bag. Contact Elena Leon at (413) 668-6807 if you would like to sponsor a quantity item so they can plan accordingly with other donors. Recommended large quantity items include: Local grocery store or pharmacy gift cards, eyeglass repair kits, lens cleaner/lens wipes, light-up magnifying glasses, flashlights, batteries, nightlights, nail clippers, nail file boards, pocket tissues, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand lotion, stationery/note cards, greeting card assortments, stamps, pot holders, candy, lottery tickets, sugar-free items for diabetics, and Sudoku/crossword/word search puzzle books.

There is no minimum or maximum limit on monetary value or what can be included.

“The value’s not a matter – what matters are the number of helping hands and the satisfaction of knowing that one has helped a senior in need this holiday season,” said Elena Leon, senior director of community relations with Benchmark Senior Living. “There are many programs in the area to help support children and families in need, but often our seniors who are frail with limited resources are forgotten. Over the past nine years we have distributed over 1500 stockings, and the heartwarming thank you notes that we received brought tears to my eyes. In some cases, the donated stocking was the only holiday gift received.”

The Atrium at Cardinal Drive is a specialized Mind & Memory assisted living community for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory impairments. Orchard Valley at Wilbraham offers assisted living and the Mind & Memory Program of care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory impairments. Both communities are operated by Benchmark Senior Living, based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Benchmark is the largest privately held provider of senior living services in the Northeast and is committed to setting the standard of excellence in senior housing. The company develops, owns and manages an array of senior living communities which offer independent living, assisted living, and specialized assisted living for the memory impaired.


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