East Texas giving tree aimed at helping elderly - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas giving tree aimed at helping elderly

(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)

Some East Texas non-profits are working to make sure elderly people in the community feel loved during the Christmas season.

In Henderson, the Cultural Arts Social Club and Community Awareness Reaching out to the Elderly have set up a giving tree, asking people to purchase common household items to be delivered to elderly in the area.

Tucked away in the corner of The Filling Station restaurant in Henderson, you can find a unique giving tree, where people take an ornament in exchange for purchasing a gift.

While similar trees feature families or kids in need, this one is only meant for elderly in the community.

“There's a lot of them where the kids can't come home, the grandkids is too busy, jobs, you know, just way of living and they have nothing. They have nothing but the people that take care of them,” Brenda Powell, owner of The Filling Station, said.

On each ornament is a list of common household items that people go through rather quickly. The sponsors of the project say many of the people they give the donated gifts to can't afford those common items.

“They're not looking for anything, they're not begging for anything, they're so proud, and then when they get something for Christmas man it’s ‘Oh, this is what I needed,’” Powell explained.

Elaine Thompson still remembers the joy she felt opening some of the gifts she's received thanks to this project.

“I feel like a kid again when I get them. I'd be anxious to see what's in it because they have a lot of nice items,” Thompson said.

“It just makes me feel wonderful to know that someone cares about you to do something for you at Christmas time and don't know anything about you,” she added.  

The people who put the tree up hope to continue to instill those feelings in other seniors as a way to honor them for all they've been able to accomplish throughout their lives.

“I don't ever want them to think that we've forgotten them,” Powell said.

The Filling Station restaurant is located at 303 S. Main Street in Henderson. The items to be put in laundry baskets or gift bags include gloves, stocking caps/hats, socks, blankets or throws, body wash, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, combs & brushes, razors & shaving cream, toothpaste or denture crème and toothbrushes, Kleenex, toilet paper, bleach, Tide, paper towels, etc.

The deadline to drop off items is Dec. 19.

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