Stockings for Seniors Drive Underway at Benchmark Senior Living Facilities

AGAWAM, WILBRAHAM — By donating small stocking stuffers to be included in holiday bags, local citizens and organizations can help needy seniors.

As part of Benchmark Senior Living’s annual drive, small items can be dropped off at one of the Benchmark 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 Saturday, Dec. 14.

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 50 or more items 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 large-quantity item. Recommended large-quantity items include local grocery-store or pharmacy gift cards, eyeglass-repair kits, lens cleaner and lens wipes, light-up magnifying glasses, flashlights, batteries, nightlights, nail clippers, nail-file boards, pocket tissues, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand lotion, stationery and notecards, greeting-card assortments, stamps, potholders, candy, lottery tickets, sugar-free items for diabetics, and Sudoku, crossword, and word-search puzzle books. 

There is no minimum or maximum limit on monetary value or what can be included, said Leon, senior director of Community Relations with Benchmark Senior Living.

“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. 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 1,700 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.”